Sometimes something happens that grips you with fear. How do you respond? If you're like most people, you resist it in some way. Our natural response to fear is one of three mechanisms: "fight, flight, or freeze," all of which are resistances to the threatening circumstances, and, by extension, resistances to feeling our emotion of fear. The "Fight" mechanism includes the very common positive-thinking approach advocated by many--"don't let negativity control your life," they say, "believe it and you can achieve it." "Flight" mechanisms often involve escape attempts via addictions or distractions. "Freeze" mechanisms can include the every-popular approach of procrastinating your decision-making until as late as possible, or mindless submission to the fear-inducing circumstances, putting you in a disembodied kind of feeling, preventing you from being fully present in the world.
I suggest a different approach. Before trying to deal with the fearful situation, you need to deal with your fear, itself. Only then will your mind be clear enough to know what to do. Look your fear directly in the eye and say "You are mine." Feel it infuse your body. Watch it shake your soul up, tie it in knots, and throw it to the ground. Analyze the effects it is having on you. Observe, feel, and keep breathing.
Why would I promote something insane like that? Aren't we supposed to fill our minds with positive thoughts? Won't we attract negative energy into our lives if we wallow in fear and negativity?
Perhaps, but I'm not talking about wallowing mindlessly. The problem is, if you don't face your fear, it will keep your mind operating in a desperate tug-of-war between the "Fight, Flight, or Freeze" response, and the "rational, let's not be ruled by emotions" response, creating a feedback loop that can lead to depression, psychosomatic symptoms, nightmares, anxiety, failures to succeed at what you are trying to do, and more.
Your dreams will, most certainly, show you when this is going on. You may have nightmares of scary beings chasing you, or see images of struggle between two or more entities. Your fear, pushed down to the unconscious, simply wants a voice. Own it, hear it, feel it, and watch it actually go to work for you and improve your life! You probably can't believe it could be this way until you see it actually working, as I have.
Dreamwork can help you face your unconscious fears and use them to empower your life. Contact me for help with your dreams, if you want to get to work on facing your fears!
More about some specific fears next time. Stay tuned!