A Message of Love from Fear

When I realized that I could direct fear like when using the right tool for the right job, I found myself in the Aha Zone. What now? How might I use fear to motivate me when love is what I want to feel all the time? I wonder, could fear be a message of love?

What If Fear Has a Message of Love?

An intention may seem the most difficult to achieve when fear is involved. Yet, what if the fear moves my intention towards completion?

My internal dialog about fear tends to act as a justifier of my perception of danger. When I accept this message as a stronger influence than reason or love, I become my greatest deterrent to success.

What might happen when I ask, “Where is this inner dialog taking me?” This would question my dialog in relation to the motivation. And strengthen my need to fulfill my intention. Until I understand fear as an emotion and motivator, I’ll have a misunderstanding that justifies my inner dialog about it.

I might ask myself, “who am I as a result of this inner dialog?” Now that is useful information!

I tend to feel fear when I perceive that I or someone I care about is in danger. One must care to feel fear. That’s a message of love!

Far from seeking to escape or avoid it, what if I embrace my fear as the symbol of love that it is? Fear helps me focus on what’s important, motivating me to act in order to express love.

What and How Questions Elicit Awareness of Love

The way you go about getting a need filled may be inspired by fear. Yet, feelings and the actions taken to satisfy those feelings are separate processes. That would include thoughts of what you need and how to get it.

When I ask myself a “What…?” question, I’m eliciting a response from an aspect of me that comprehends in symbols. Symbols bridge the relationship between material objects and abstract thought. This is how physical appearance connects to nonphysical meaning.

Unconscious use of fear includes justifying having to obey fear as a master. Using fear consciously includes questioning a need and its fulfillment in order to elicit awareness of its expression of love.

Overcoming Fear vs Embracing Fear

Let’s say you need something, yet, you’re afraid to go after it – like a raise at work. You feel fear along with the frustration of not getting a need met. You know fear will continue until you have achieved your goal. You choose to go for it anyway when the need for the goal exceeds the need to remain safe. Once the need has been fulfilled, you feel successful.

You’ve used the motivation derived from your fear as a tool to overcome the fear. At least that’s how it appears. And, as we’ve often seen in the Aha Zone, appearances can be deceiving. Instead of overcoming your fear, maybe you’ve acknowledged it as a tool to boost your ability to reach that goal. And in embracing your fear, maybe expressed your love for self and others.

“Why Am I Afraid?”

Because I care! And that is an expression of love!

Fear as Motivation for Consciously Directed Purpose

In my bubble of limited awareness, I’ve defined fear as an unfulfillable need to resist change. That because I add my interpretation of what I think fear should mean. Which is, a negative or unpleasant emotion I associate with what I don’t want. Fear is a feeling that motivates me to act on it. How I act on that feeling is what I interpret as fear – two separate things. Motivation is NOT the action in a consciously directed purpose.

Beyond that limited awareness I can interpret fear as one of many emotions that motivate me towards fulfillment. Since emotions drive my thoughts into action, I can choose to use them productively. Thus, a simple shift in my perspective of fear and can move towards change in powerful and meaningful ways.

When I think of fear as an emotion I can then choose to use it to serve my purposes. I can more easily meet change with confidence. As I let go of my need to resist change, I bring clarity to its benefits. I see change and fear as one and consider its uses as a conscious tool.

Motivation in Conscious Purpose

The body program associates fear from an instinctual perspective of fight, flight, or freeze – each an action. Even when I’m frozen in fear, there’s a strong sense of, “I’ve got to get out of here!” This results in a rush of chemicals I interpret as a feeling of exhilaration – a need for movement. That’s the chemistry of motivation. The question becomes, what do I do with this motivation?

The motivation to flee, fight, or freeze is an expression of feedback to my mind about my perceptions. That’s useful information towards an understanding of self. One such understanding is that of emotion as motivator.

As an emotion, fear bridges thought to action – motivation. What are some ways I can utilize this bridging characteristic of fear to apply conscious purpose to my intentions? Consider:

  • What if that bridge could motivate me to consider other ways to act?
  • Could fear be an agent of change I need for growth towards understanding?
  • Might fear be useful in accomplishing intentions?

I get to choose what to do with the energy of fear. I might go with the default – fight, flight, or freeze. Or, I may choose to direct that energy towards my conscious intentions – purpose!

Who’s Driving this Bus Anyway?

All emotion can be understood as motivation towards action. Key to this understanding is recognition that it’s NOT emotions that drive the directing aspect of thought.

Although fear may be the loudest voice at the table, it is not the only voice. Imagine a board of directors meeting in which the CEO presides. Mr. Fear says, “OMG! We’re going under fast! We have to do something drastic NOW to save the company!” Meanwhile, the other members of the board cannot compete with Mr. Fear’s passion, intensity, and volume level. If the CEO listens only to the loudest voice, what do you think will happen to the company?

The authority we give to fear is our belief that is is powerful enough to make us do what it wants, rather than what we want. However, passion, intensity, and volume are not direction! They are the fuel of motivation.

Fear provides motivation for change, and although it appears to be dictating my actions and thoughts, it does not. In reality, I do the directing. Like my car, the fuel does not provide the direction for the vehicle – the driver does.

The First Cause

Perhaps intention is a fundamental characteristic of consciousness and the first cause from which experience arises.

An intention is an awareness of separation from wholeness – “me” consciousness. The first intention I’m aware of is to be whole. This results in an awareness of lack. Thus, I generate intentions that limit awareness and codify them in instinct to support that first intention.

In limited awareness, intentions appear as problems seeking solutions.

Any intention includes consideration of one or more means to achieve its end. This acknowledges and defends a sense of separation and lack in the present moment.

Achievement of an intention ends that intention. Because of the underlying sense of lack, the end of one intention is part of another. This movement from intention to intention generates a sense of living moment-to-moment. Time reckoning.

The First Cause

My first cause is to live at the expense of my environment. Because I perceive myself as a separate being who must fight to survive, I experience this adversarial relationship with my environment.

Because I believe I own my own experience of living, I feel a need to protect it from the ever-present threat of lack. Therefore, I feel I must fight to achieve against the tsunami of lack waging war against me.

What if I question my causal intention to be whole? Might I expose an underlying paradox in which I apply a problem as a solution?

  • What does my intention to be whole presuppose? (lack!)
  • How am I satisfying that intention? (limited awareness!)
  • Why do I have this intention? (to experience limiting awareness!)
  • Who am I as a result of my intention? (fearful and defensive!)

My default is to believe I must fight and defend to achieve wholeness. How do I achieve wholeness without fighting for it? Maybe an investigation of my first cause is in order?

What if seeing my life as a problem to be solved is itself a problem to solve – that cannot be solved by solving the problem! I can’t solve a problem using the strategy that created the problem.

As long as I perceive my life as a problem, I can’t solve it!

What might happen when I stop the fight by releasing the sense of debt inherent in the first cause. That release might appear like surrender of the fear of death.

What might happen to me when I release my fear of death? Might I then realize the wholeness I already am and transition out of my bubble of limited awareness?

What if the solution to the problem I perceive is the realization that there never was a problem to solve? Perhaps the first cause is false.

The Peace Paradox

The paradox: the more one seeks peace, the less one finds. This because seeking acknowledges lack of that sought and finding signifies the end of seeking it.

  • Misunderstanding: My life is a problem I need to solve, the solution to which ends my life.
  • Understanding: Life simply is.

“Mad Hatter: “Why is a raven like a writing-desk?”
“Have you guessed the riddle yet?” the Hatter said, turning to Alice again.
“No, I give it up,” Alice replied: “What’s the answer?”
“I haven’t the slightest idea,” said the Hatter”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

In a world of complements as competition, defense – in the form of cause and effect – seems to exist as problem and solution. It’s a loop condition! That is, until I see both as one, I realize my misunderstanding.

One might see the humor in it.

Peace comes at a price: constant effort towards its achievement and maintenance. This raises a question. Why am I not at peace when I’ve worked so hard for it? My answer has always been to double down on my efforts because I must not be doing enough. You know, if at first you don’t succeed… try doing the same thing with renewed determination over and over again hoping for a different result. Sound familiar?

And there’s the paradox – and the humor. It seems the more I invest in achieving and defending peace, the less peace I experience. Even when I feel I’ve achieved a sense of peace, my defense of it hinders my enjoyment of it.

Challenging My Understanding

I defend what I believe gives me peace. Meanwhile, I feel threatened I will lose that peace. How can I feel threatened when I’m feeling peaceful?

It feels like a catch-22 situation in which I use the process that created the problem to solve the problem. One cannot use limited awareness to escape limited awareness or misunderstanding to correct misunderstanding.

What might happen when I shift my intention from seeking wholeness to celebrating separation? Rather than seeking to solve the problem of separation, I could enjoy the experience of it.

Perhaps it’s not about problem-solving, it’s about living in gratitude – awareness of who I am. Disconnecting from the value judgments I place on my creations allows me to enjoy being a creator. This is a different experience from that lived in judgments of right-wrong, good-bad, defensive limited/limiting awareness.

“’Somewhere beyond right and wrong, there is a garden. I will meet you there.” Rumi

Questioning A Satisfied Mind

Although the satisfied mind invites a challenge to it, it resists questioning because it feels satisfied. No need to ask a question when you feel you have the answer. Peace resists challenge!

Yet, I’m driven from deep within to understand what is beyond what I understand. I feel an urgency to expand my limited awareness to appreciate what I now cannot imagine. I wonder…

What if peace is not the answer? What if my sense of peace and comfort is an invitation to exploration into gratitude?

An Insight into Solving the Problem of Resistance

Intentions indicate a sense of lack. A sense of purpose arises to fill that lack. For example, I breathe to satisfy a sense of lack of oxygen.

I seek to satisfy physical and psychological needs by solving problems. That means asking questions that lead to solving those problems.

When I become aware of a problem, I must solve it with a change. That’s a problem because I resist change.

How do I solve the problem of resistance? That resistance is a state of mind and states of mind can change. A state of mind break might be useful.

Breaking focus from a defensive state of mind to a more resourceful state of mind involves a simple change of attention. For example, when I’m focused on a problem and resist its solution, I might use an insightful question to break the resistant state of mind, “What do you want?” Or I might yell, “Snap out of it!” in my mind. Or, I may engage in some unrelated activity, like walking, redirecting focus, or asking an unrelated question.

Solving the Resistance Problem

With awareness of my defensiveness, I might follow-up with some self-awareness questions:

“What do you need?”
“How might the information I’m resisting be useful to me?”
“What else could this mean than what I think it means?”
“Why am I resisting this?”
“Who am I?”

These questions may bring about awareness that stops the resistant response.

In the process of solving the problem of a resistant state of mind, the discomfort of resistance can awaken awareness. Once activated, awareness is an opportunity for insightful understanding. Awareness questions experience. When I question my experiences, I bring clarity of understanding to them.

Let’s look at some examples of how I might use clarity to solve the problem of resistance.

Problem – Solution:
Fear – Pause from present actions and intention to investigate purpose, refocus, and ground.
Certitude – Question present resistance with, “Is it true?” “Can I know it’s true?”
Stress – Calmness
Stuck thinking – Consider alternatives, “What else could this be/mean?”
Inattention – Check my intention, “What do I want?”

In doing the above, I’m taking a shortcut to problem solving. In this case, the problem is resistance, the solution is understanding.