Freeing the Bird
What is fear? An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous and can be a pain or a threat. This is the definition, plain and simple, but the consequences are far from it. Why do we feel fear? And moreover how do we know that something or someone is a perceived threat?
Fear can be in different forms, and to each individual it’s a very real and personal emotion. Science has even elongated medical names for them with the word phobia meaning fear at the end of them. Agoraphobia, arachnophobia, to xenophobia. I looked up the list which is quite extensive, there is literally A to X ( no Z) !! We have managed to find a word to describe our fears right from everything in our environment, to each other and ourselves, the more fears we generate the more names we think up to define them and give the fear a power to hold over us.
where do we learn these emotional responses?
I was watching my one year old the other day, this kid has no fear. He will put anything in his mouth, rocks, grass, paper etc. to understand its taste I would cringe and run to get it out of him of fear of him swallowing it. He will climb to the very edge of the bed and leap off, I would gasp and run to catch him in fear of him falling and breaking a bone. He will grab a fallen cookie off the floor and eat it, I would dart and try to stop him (rarely with success) for fear that he would take in germs from the floor. I wonder if he will learn fears of tasting, falling, eating from me while observing my responses to his actions. Is this where it starts? We are all born free of fears, what do we really know of them? We have been in our mothers womb safe and sound, well nourished, loved, protected, cocooned, awaiting the chance at life. Then we grow up and we have these negative emotional responses to our surroundings.
We have fears of tests, fear of outdoors, fear of indoors, fear of what people say, then fear of our jobs then fearful for our lives, livelihood and families. We eventually imprison ourselves, we imprison ourselves into a cage, like a bird. We starve the bird ( our mind, spirit and consciousness) and eventually we die in fear. There are those individuals who have no fear or so it seems, they can be stunt men and women who shoot themselves out of a cannon, or race car drivers racing at 200mph, gymnasts who tight rope walk without a safety net high above the ground, or entrepreneurs who start business ventures.
What do all these people have in common? They free the bird.
They take the plunge and have faith that all will be well. They don’t just think it, they believe it, they live it and fly free. Interestingly NewHampshire has their license plate slogan as “live free or die”. Perhaps we each need to pause, reflect upon what are our fears, write them down. Analyze and understand where these fears are coming from, probably deeply seated within our subconscious covered by years of repression of our ego to protect us from harm. Once we identify what the fear is, we face it, and thank it for being there and respectfully bid it farewell. Appreciate it for holding on, but it is time for it to go, then with faith free your bird, and live your life without fear. It’s entirely plausible that the fears were given to you by your parents, some encounter with a friend, an unfortunate circumstance, a repressed memory that all have evolved into a complex set of feelings, emotions and hard wired themselves into a fear.
Remember that in the end fear is an unpleasant emotion plain and simple! An emotion like all the other emotions that we have that can be controlled. If we can define fear, which is a negative emotion along with all the other negative emotions, why can we not define positive emotions? If we replace these negative connotations with positive ones will we not get better responses? A few examples, sadness with happiness, anger with calmness, hate with love, fear with confidence.
I understand that conquering a fear or fears is not something that one can do overnight, nor do I think that you should do it overnight, but you should do it. I know that you can overcome this test with patience, faith in yourself and the universe, and unconditional love. It’s a matter of time, and persistence. I think that the moment you face your fear, it in fact bids YOU farewell and vanishes into the darkness from whence it came. Imagine the infinite possibilities of what we can achieve if we had no fear. Opponents would say that fear keeps us in check and sharp and is needed to keep us on a progressive path, but imagine that path that we travel filled with love and joy, would it not make for a better traveling companion?
I wish you well on your fearless endeavors as you free your bird, can you feel your cage door opening?