What Fear Feels Like to Me and 2 Ways I Deal With It.Nov 21, 2022
I’ve had some financial worries this week. Some stuff we have in motion has taken a left turn and it’s unnerving me. Nothing life shattering, but enough that it’s on my mind. I’m generally emotionally chill. I’m not freaking out and we’re steadily working things out. But I’m realizing my body doesn’t lie.
When I wake up in the morning, I feel the twinge of fear. Normally, I’m not so self-aware, but this week I’ve tried to be very conscious about what I’m feeling emotionally and physically. I say to myself, “I’m worrying.” “This is fear.” I name it. I say it out loud.
That’s my first step.
I'm fairly accustomed to naming fearful thoughts. But this week I’ve also tried to pay extra close attention to what fear feels like in my body.
Day 1: I realized fear made me extra aware of my hands, limbs and torso, like my body and spirit were disconnecting a little.
Day 2: I felt it again when I woke up today. I tried to articulate better what it physically felt like. I realized fear felt like I was contracting. The spirit that is inside my body was shrinking within the shell of my body.
Image: courtesy of Hacks & Crafts
Normally, I would say my body and spirit have a 1:1 ratio. It’s the hand and glove metaphor. We fit. But when I feel afraid, my body stays the same size. It’s my spirit or soul that is shrinking. I imagine a balloon that has been covered in paper maché. Fear makes the balloon lose air and deflate but the paper shell holds its shape. I think that’s why I felt extra aware of my limbs and hands. It’s like they were “out there” and I was diminishing inside.
Let’s switch that around and see what that feels like going the opposite direction. What’s the opposite of fear?
We keep a quote prominently displayed in our home: “Play with the idea of complete and inevitable success.” This comes from one of my favorite books. Yesterday, I was taking that quote to heart and writing out what complete success would look like. As I wrote out what I envisioned in my mind, it was the opposite of contracting.
I felt expansive, abundant, optimistic. It was fun.
In moments like this, I actually feel as if my spirit is wanting to push beyond the boundary of my body and radiate outward. I think about the accounts of people seeing God and angels. It always involves massive amounts of powerful, bright light emanating from their presence. I suspect this has something to do with an emotional state that has overcome fear and is overflowing with faith. Again, I’ll define faith as the ability to conceive of what’s possible and create it.
I believe this is why God wants us to “fear not.” Worry, fear, anxiety, scarcity, etc are not godly attributes. Faith, hope, charity, love, abundance, generosity...these are what light me up. These are what lift me higher. This is what I want more of in my life. That's what I hope for you too.
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