Let’s look at one of our major fears, though often unrecognized – the fear of not being good enough — of being somehow flawed.
It’s such an uncomfortable state to experience that we often push it into the unconscious and quickly look elsewhere for a distraction.
But the buried fear lies there and continues to haunt us. Not just haunt us, but to heavily influence our lives.
As Jung has said, “the problem with the unconscious is that it is unconscious.”
The human specie is the only life form that can reflect on their own death. Consciously or not, we are all aware of our own demise, as well as that of our loved ones. That’s hard to live with and can weigh heavily upon us.
Fear is just so unpleasant! Not wanting to feel this way, we look for something to make us feel better — to soothe our troubled souls. We want a little more certainty in this world of uncertainty.
Maybe we identify ourselves with a sports team, and when they win we feel really on top. And even if they don’t, at least we’re a part of a team. That’s some consolation, as it’s better than feeling alone and unconnected.
Or we go shopping to buoy us up and bring us short term comfort. Maybe we call a friend, or have a great meal.
We look for any relief from these things that go bump in the night and even haunt our daylight hours.
All the time these hollow, empty places inside us are causing anxiety. Sometimes we feel as if we have been dropped through the cracks, left abandoned by God.
You can stop reading now (if you’ve gotten this far) if you are not ready to tackle the fears that unconsciously run your life.
I understand, for many years I, too, ran away from them, thinking I could just pray my way into a positive life where I life would always be sunny, and relationships were always harmonious..
But there came a day when all I had pushed under the carpet made it impossible for me to walk, for the ground was too uneven. I was losing my balance. It was called depression.
The time had come for me to face the things which I did not want to face. I had to grow up and admit something kept me stuck in a life that was not satisfactory.
And it wasn’t God that was holding me back. It was my fears.
Thus my spiritual journey deepened.
I learned to face one fear at a time. I used my journal and my meditation practice to investigate my fear.
Direct questions helped
In James Hollis’ book, Hauntings, he invites us to continually ask, “What is it, or whom is it, that I am afraid of right now?”
And then answer it honestly. And keep breathing.
So, right now, this minute, I ask myself, “What am I afraid of?”
Well, I’m afraid that what I write won’t make sense or be helpful. I’m afraid that I don’t know the right words.
Above all else, I’m afraid I will disappoint someone. That one really hurts.
Last night when I was meditating upon this, the words from the 23rd Psalm came to me.
“I will set a table before you in the presence of your enemies. Your head is anointed with oil and your cup runneth over. Goodness and mercy shall follow you all the days of your life, and you shall live in the house of the Lord forever.”
This tableau lit up inside me and is still here. I feel the peace of this experience.
By facing my fear of the moment, an answer came that has been extremely helpful.
I don’t have to know everything, or even what will happen next. I can rely on the power of God within me. It’s greater than anything in the world. The table is set before me. I just need to be present.
Grace always provides just what is needed.
Your answer will come to you just as surely. “Before they call, I will answer.” Is. 65:24
All things work together for good when we are aware of God’s love. It’s here within and around us. God is love.
I invite you to keep finding ways to give your fears to God. You will be answered with love.
The rewards are great.