No Fear Is A Myth: Play With The Dragon

by Dr. Lauren Sierra Thomas

in Loving Your Life

The “No Fear” Slogan Has Hypnotized Us Into A Lie

We’ve all heard the famous “No Fear” slogan.  Isn’t it amazing how an advertisement can get inside our head and wreak havoc?  I mean, really, who are we kidding? I don’t know about you, but personally I don’t trust anyone who pretends they have no fear!  KNOW FEAR, though, makes me want to snuggle up and get closer.

I think of a little ditty on a piece of driftwood a friend made for my dad.  He had it hanging on the wall of his cabin in Islamorada in the Florida Keys.  It said:  “Drink for you know not whence you came nor why.  Drink for you know not where you go nor when”.

I don’t know about the drinking part, although that was certainly the flavor of the week in the Florida Keys for decades.   But, what about the “you know not where you go nor when”?

Spiritual and religious beliefs notwithstanding, the specter of death in itself is enough to cause a significant amount of fear and trembling in we mortals.

The Many Fears of Being Human

We face many fears as humans.  The fear of the unknown (I’ve already pointed out the “great” unknown), the fear of physical and emotional suffering, the fear of failure, the fear of success.  And then there’s the fear of abandonment, the fear of “shining” more than others, the fear of not being liked or fitting in, the fear of public speaking, the fear of hunger, job loss, relationship endings, hair turning gray, turning old and wrinkly.  You get the point.

So, where did we get this NO FEAR thing from?  I mean, that is BULLSHIT in the 1st degree.  It takes the proverbial cake my grandmother was always talking about.

No Wonder We Don’t Face Fear

The bottom line is fear is uncomfortable.  No wonder we don’t want to even acknowledge it to ourselves, let alone hang out with it.

You could put anxiety in the same category.  The very nature of anxiety is that it’s a miserable feeling.  We want to escape as soon as possible, send it off to Siberia, never to be heard from again.  No return address thank you very much.  Don’t call me, I’ll call you – when hell freezes over.

Play With The Dragon(fly)

The Irony Of It All

Pushing uncomfortable emotions away and pretending they don’t exist is NOT helpful in the long run and often fails in the short term as well.  It simply isn’t an effective strategy.

What does help? Paradoxically the only thing that calms our fears and anxieties is to face them. Head-on.

Try the following exercise.  I hope it helps bring you back into a place of calm in your darkest moments.

An Exercise For Facing Fear (or anxiety, fear’s close relative):

  • As soon as you notice fear or anxiety creeping in, immediately find a quiet place to sit and still yourself. If you’re out and about you can go into a bathroom.
  • Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.
  • Go inside.   Continue paying attention to your  breath.  Feel the rhythm of your breath as you breathe in and out.
  • Tune into your body and feel where the discomfort of fear lodges itself in your body.
  • Breathe into the discomfort and visualize a softening in that area.
  • Become curious about the fear.
  • Talk with your fear.
  • Let your fear talk with you.
  • Soothe and comfort your fear as you would a frightened child.
  • Pour love and compassion into your fear.
  • Open your eyes when you feel centered and complete.
  • Be gentle with yourself.
  • Have a cup of tea.
  • Listen to lovely music.
  • Call a friend.

It’s Not Cool To Declare Life a No-Fear Zone

Going along with the idea of “No Fear” is hazardous to your health.

It’s a lie.  We all have fears.  We need to support one another in facing our fears and the first step is acknowledging fear is part of being human.

It takes courage to face fear.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences in facing fear and anxiety.

It’s challenging to meet these feeling face-to-face when they arise.  But, the rewards are great.

Until next time, be well, have fun playing with the dragon, and may you experience the best relationships ever!

Dragonfly Photo Courtesy of:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/krikit

Crow at Full Moon Photo Courtesy of:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/luchilu

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February 24, 2011 at 3:35 pm

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Belinda February 25, 2011 at 11:17 pm

I love what you say about talking with your fear because what I’ve experienced is I’ve at times let fear become larger than life. By talking to it, we humanize it in some way and take away soem of its power.

I do admire people who can face their fears quickly and head on. Maybe this is what they mean when they claim to not be afraid of anything? They feel it but they confront it right away isntead of letting it crowd their space or overanalyze it.

Enjoy your weekend! xx

Reply

Lauren February 26, 2011 at 4:12 am

Dear Belinda,

Yes, I too know the feeling of allowing a fear to take on a life of its own. After it reaches a certain point it kind of takes over the show.

And I agree it’s a great quality to face fears head-on. Confronting fear immediately is a great coping skill. For those of us who don’t always do that, it’s good to know we can practice.

Hope you’re having a great week. Is it true it snowed in San Francisco? I heard someone say something about that today!

Love,
Lauren

Reply

Romelio February 27, 2011 at 3:31 am

Yes Lauren, we all have fears, and I like the way you wrote about how to face them, I some times wonder if we are feeding them, by trying to ignore them?

Reply

Dr. Lauren Sierra Thomas March 1, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Hey Romelio,

Nice to hear from you.

My sense is that we do feed our fear, anxiety, all those fun emotions, when we try to ignore them. Especially I find with anxiety, if I ignore it at a certain point it tends to take on a “life of its own”. I have to grab it by the balls, so to speak early on. :-)

Lauren

Reply

abbey1990 October 3, 2011 at 9:22 am

wow, that is great post! i have fears as well, and by reading your article it makes me believe in myself that i can actually conquer it. thanks you so much!
abbey1990 ´s last blog ..You Got To Have A Zebra Rug! My ComLuv Profile

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Dr. Lauren Sierra Thomas January 5, 2012 at 2:39 am

Dear Abbey,

Glad you found the post helpful.

We deal with our fears through being conscious, acknowledging them, and facing them…I believe.

Be well.
Lauren

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anika001 October 7, 2011 at 12:15 pm

who doesn’t have fears? well i’m pretty sure no one. great article here! keep posting!
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Dr. Lauren Sierra Thomas January 5, 2012 at 2:38 am

Yes, indeed, we all do have fears. How we deal with our fear is key.

Be well.

Lauren

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assassin October 13, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Lauren you are a healer “pour love over fear” and you will se the face of the child who so much has been abandoned alone, and is so glad to see you back.

fear is the emotion with the highest amplitude of intensity.

unless you face it will turn into a monster, and you ahve to truy hard to grab it by the balls! The greatest fear of all is to invite the absolute, Alfa & Omega, for the fear of performance, lack os self esteem, that’s why God doesn’t come, we are too much afraid of him, God holds back the gift of eternity the elixir, because that is delivered by the Godhead alone, it has to be said face to face, just not to frighten us.
Pour some love over fear and it will burn with the energy of supernova, and you become super new, brand new you!

it’s all Love! eva Lllasti -ng!

Reply

Dr. Lauren Sierra Thomas November 17, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Love indeed is a great antidote for fear. Thank you for that knowing.

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Lucy October 31, 2011 at 10:43 am

my fave quote – “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” :)
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Dr. Lauren Sierra Thomas November 17, 2011 at 8:34 pm

That’s lovely Lucy. Thank you much for sharing it.

Lauren

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Nick T December 16, 2011 at 10:35 pm

I do not fear being alone anymore because you showed me their are people all around me all the time that will help a stranger in need.
Thank you for listing to me and your words of encouragement !
Nick T

Reply

Dr. Lauren Sierra Thomas January 5, 2012 at 2:36 am

Dear Nick,

I’m glad you found it helpful.

Best to you!

Lauren

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