We humans are pre-wired with a heightened sense of fear — which is rooted in the ego. For thousands of years, this heightened sense of fear was a necessary element for the survival and advancement of our species. As we’ve become more “civilized”, these primal traits remain. Yet they are used for much less threatening circumstances.
Unless you are a trauma survivor.
For trauma survivors, these primal instincts are further amplified. In fact, recent breakthrough brain research shows that trauma triggers deep-seated survival components that are manifested in PTSD, depression and other mental health issues.
That’s the science. This is the story.
I have noticed in myself a marked increase in fear the past couple of years. I used to be bold to the point of recklessness and brashness. But now as I’ve experienced a deep and transformative awakening, I noticed a much higher level of fear. From low-grade unease to abject terror. To some extent this makes sense. When you awaken, you feel everything.
I tried to explain fear away — “It’s just past trauma”.
I tried to mantra fear away — “Fear is a liar!”
I tried to pray fear away — “Please take this cup from me”
It was only when I turned in to the fears that I began to understand them. In short, I discovered I’d been wearing “fear goggles”. My perspective was being twisted by past experiences and changing how I saw things. Not just in small ways but in destructive, tyrannical ways.
Fear goggles made me …
- See everything as a problem to solve.
- See everything and everyone with a threat level assessment.
- Create little false worlds or situations that I could control.
- Either idolize or villainize people — especially those I love.
- See myself as a victim.
- See people as objects.
- Visualize the worst case scenario in even the most benign situations.
- Assume that something was deeply wrong with me; that I was permanently damaged in some way.
- Look back with regret or nostalgia.
- Create conflict in order to feel in control or powerful.
- Look forward with delusion, dread or anxiety.
- Lose my faith and spiritual vision.
- Try to get comfort from more information and more data.
- Possessive and greedy.
- Not trust anyone or anything.
In times past, I would occasionally exchange fear goggles for rose colored glasses — an irrational hopefulness and recklessness disguised as positivity and optimism. This inevitably lead to more trauma, more disappointment — which lead to more fear. And back went on the fear goggles.
My path to freeing myself of fear goggles began with awareness (seeing that I was wearing them) and then advanced to this realization: wearing fear goggles is entirely a choice. Fear is a primal response. And all primal responses can be over-ridden by the one thing that elevates humans above all other creatures: the power of choice.
Getting rid of my fear goggles frees me to see that there are real problems to solve and sometimes real fears to confront. But it also frees me to see all of my resources and assets. It frees me to see my own worth. It frees me to see others as humans. It frees me to use my natural gifts.
By choosing to remove the fear goggles, I can see … the truth, the reality and the mystical.