Waking up from Fear Paralysis
WAKING UP FROM FEAR PARALYSIS
The collective freezer
We are living in a collective freezer and largely unaware of the frigid weather all around us. These cold conditions have paralyzed many of us into a state of contraction, numbness and disconnection. Side effects of frozenness are subtlety holding your breath, tensing your body, not feeling safe to be yourself, not fully sharing or expressing yourself in world, believing things might go bad or not work out and feeling like you are not going to be ok. Frozenness is riddled with worry, doubt, insecurity, inhibition, vigilance and absence of trust in self, other or life. Its focus is on minimizing disruption, change, and uncertainty at all costs. It is not concerned with thriving, evolution or advancement, but instead solely with preservation of what is and attempting to keep things the same.
Clearly it is impossible to keep things the same. The one screamingly obvious truth is that everything is constantly changing. Yet despite the obviousness of this we attempt to control the change. This state of inner non-acceptance of what is keeps us looking in the rearview mirror. Trying to keep a version of ourselves, our body, or our environment that was previously known to us. Perhaps a version of our life that we liked more or that felt safer because it was more known to us thus giving us the illusion of greater stability. What we fail to really accept is that everything has a rhythm, a beginning, middle and an end. This is true for everything within the physical universe. All will come and go.
It is through stretching yourself into greater acceptance of this fact of the ever changing nature of the universe that you will begin the unthawing process. When you stop trying to hold things in place you begin to recognize the movement that is all around you. The block of ice that you’ve been keeping yourself inside of starts to melt. The frigid, rigid fear container loses its sharp harshness and with that you begin to notice your breath again. A warmth arrives that allows the muscles to relax. That which you withheld or kept separate or silent now begins to move inside of you and take expression. You stop worrying so much about yourself and instead start living again or maybe living for the first time.
The important thing to realize here is that you are in charge of the defrosting process. In fact it is 100% solely up to you. That doesn’t mean that support isn’t available, because it is, but the choice to end the choice for fear is yours. You don’t have to keep picking up the same fear story, feelings and sensations. You are bigger than and beyond any fear thought.
BEYOND THE CHOICE FOR FEAR
Finding all the places that you hide out
The first step in ending your attachment relationship with fear is by finding all the places where you choose it. See our choosing of fear is largely unconscious to us. We simply imbibe it as part of the air we breathe and don’t do much to question it because it’s one of those collectively agreed upon assumptions that has been left un-investigated. Its takes a certain slowing down of the mind and recognition of our more subtle beingness so that we can attune and clearly see these unconscious assumption patterns that we have about life.
As you begin this investigation process into yourself you may find that there are certain things or situations that arise which you feel that fear is the only choice. Where you get hijacked and your nervous system responds with the fear cascade of attack, protection, disconnection and vigilance. These are your growth edges. Wherever it is that you feel like you have no choice but to respond in a certain way is a misinformed and disempowered perspective. The key that I want to keep pointing to here is choice. It is one thing to deliberately choose fear and allow that choice to create the programmed nervous system response for that choice, it is another thing entirely to not consciously choose it and be swept into that response. If a lion is chasing you choosing fear and the subsequent neurophysiological cascade that follows may be appropriate unless you want to get eaten, however rarely are any real lions chasing us.
So outside those incredibly rare moments in our lives when we truly need our survival mechanism to be activated the choice for pure survival/preservation and the attack, flight or freeze response is just a default mode. This should feel like really great news to you because it means that you are in charge. You are not victim to your nervous system, instead it responds to you. Its only that you have not been aware of your choice, of what you’ve been choosing or even that you can/do choose.
This is why at some point we have to turn our attention from the outside world and all the seeming external triggers and look within. Sometimes this seems like a dark and bleak void, and perhaps even boring direction. This is only because we haven’t spent much time paying actual attention to ourselves and therefore there is this undiscovered terrain of which we have not navigated before. You may feel like you don’t know how or what you are doing, and when you first open that inner door you may not see much. But as with any worthwhile endeavor persistence pays off. Your willingness and dedication to continue to peer inside reveals an previously unknown or unconscious world to you. You come to see and know yourself. You see the intricacies of your psyche and illuminate their workings simply with your attention and awareness on them. It is here that you dismantle your conditioned responses to life and reclaim your active choice. In truth the choice has always been yours, but until you turn within and unequivocally see that fact, your mind will play tricks of denial on you and you will project your power outwards onto objects, situations and other people. The choice beyond fear is the choice for freedom and an experience of life where you are present, available and fully alive.
Dr. Amanda Love