Does Understanding Fear Cure Fear?

January, 2012

Does understanding fear cure fear?

I recently read that: “The understanding of fear cures fear.” Really? In order to cleanse myself of fear, all I need to do is understand it? Let’s see, suppose I fear heights. Now, let’s suppose I understand that I fear heights. Am I cured of my fear? Well, maybe understanding that I fear heights and understanding THE FEAR isn’t the same. OK, so perhaps there is something to the understanding of fear cures fear. Hmm…

"To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom." - Bertrand Russell

Recently, I was telling a friend about my fear of having a recurring nightmare. He had explained to me, previously, how enjoyable his dreams were now that he could remember them. You see, he had started a new form of meditation that helped him remember his dreams, whereas before, he was unable to do so. I told him I was trying not to remember my nightmare dreams. He immediately responded that remembering my nightmares was a healthy act of my mind. Apparently, according to him, our subconscious minds brings out the “bad” thoughts in order to get rid of them. Perhaps this is an example of our minds understanding our fears in order to cure our fears. Hmm….

I have heard that every experience in which a person directly faces fear, s/he gains courage and confidence for facing the future, no matter what it holds. But, how can we face fear? For example, if I’m afraid of heights, how do I face the fear in such a way that I gain courage and confidence for facing the future? Perhaps, trying to understand the general fear of heights will allow me to face the fear. Really, what is there to understand besides the fact that when my body is elevated to a certain height I’m afraid? Hmm…

"Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood." - Marie Curie

Now that I think more about it, I suppose there’s at least an element of unconscious thought involved when something, like a fear of heights, is manifested. It seems reasonable that understanding what caused the unconscious thought could result in an understanding of the fear. And, it seems reasonable that a fear of heights might be traced back to an event, such as falling out of a crib, when a person was very young. Though, as an adult, a person might not remember the fall, her/his unconscious mind would. So, if someone understands that s/he fell out of a crib at a very young age AND that’s what is causing the uneasiness with heights, then gaining courage and confidence for facing the future seems natural. Hmm…

Does understanding fear cure fear? Well, maybe fear is always a choice we have in life. Looking at life from an either/or perspective, we either understand it or fear it. Marie Curie once wrote: “Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.Bertrand Russell stated: “To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.” Considering what I have written up to this point, I think fear is grounded in ignorance. Hmm…

Does understanding fear cure fear? Hmm…Yes!:-)

What do you think?


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Do You Make Choices Based On Fear and/or Hate?

December, 2009

No Fear, No Hate, Just Love! Photo by Nickolas Murray, (1892 – 1965) Taken 1939 MCCALL STYLE & BEAUTY

I’m running because I’m afraid, but I love dogs!

How often do we make choices based on fear? Recently, I turned on my radio and the first thing I heard was the following question, “If you were asked to choose between fear, hate or love, which would you choose?” The person who was asked the question immediately responded, “love!” I remember thinking, “that’s obvious!”

I wasn’t able to listen much longer, but from what little time I did, I think the person who asked the question was trying to explain how we often make choices based on fear and/or hate, when love is another reasonable choice.

Let’s look at how we might choose hate and fear, instead of love. Suppose you are looking at a menu in a restaurant and you notice they offer, as a special, an entree that contains one of your favorite fishes. It is a fish that you love to eat. You also notice that one of the sides is a vegetable that you hate. Suppose, because of  hating the side vegetable, you don’t choose the special entree. Your choice was based on hate.

It also may have been based on fear. How, you ask? Sometimes we are afraid to ask if the vegetable that we hate can be replaced with something else. In this case, we chose hate and fear, instead of love.

I hate talking on the telephone, but I love talking to people!

The choosing of hate and fear over love can happen in many other ways. Sometimes, when you make choices that cause you to avoid success, you have chosen hate and/or fear over love. You may have avoided success because you hated doing something, or you were afraid of the commitment.

We all should love ourselves enough to try not to harm our physical health. But, we often make choices out of hate or fear that are harmful to our health. Take, for example, exercising for good health. I know that I hate doing it, but love myself enough to overcome that hate.

Sometimes, I find myself thinking of not exercising out of fear. You see, if I feel a little sore from a previous activity, I sometimes have a fear of hurting myself. Usually, after thinking about it, I realize that the fear is unfounded. All I have to do is take it easy until my muscles “loosen up.” Generally, my fear is more of an excuse than a good reason.

I’m afraid of the computer; should I love it?

Why do we not set goals? Why do we deny what we know is true? Why do we allow others to have our power? Why do we give up control of our own health? Why do we let others affect our emotions? Why do we choose negative emotions over positive emotions? I think it has a lot to do with choosing fear and/or hate instead of love.

Is is possible for fear, hate and love to be felt at the same time? I don’t think so. When we choose fear and/or hate, we are literally, “shutting the door” on love.

So, what should we do? The first thing to do is to make yourself aware of your choices and what they are based on. Next, bring love to the forefront of your mind. Realize that, if you are feeling fear and/or hate, then they need to be replaced with love.  And then, do it!

Have no fear (or hate), this is a love seat! :-)

Don’t choose fear and/or hate. Choose Love!

I would love to read your comment. ;-)


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