Whatever thing you’re afraid of, it’s merely an ancestor of something deeper and stronger and more human than you realize.
And if you don’t follow that fear down the chain, you’ll never uncover the truth about yourself.
Like when you’re running twenty minutes late for work and suddenly your whole body is sweating so you start power walking down the street, weaving in and out of traffic, hurdling over small children to try to make it into the office on time.
Somewhere in the cluttered and nervous room of your mind, the fear is not that you’ll be late for work. Or that you’ll get fired and run out of money and deplete your savings and get evicted and have to leave the city and move back in with your parents.
No, the fear is that in the process of doing all that, you will lose the community that you worked so hard to build. And that you will be alone again.
It all goes back to belonging. The basic human need to connect and touch and feel heard and become part of something larger than ourselves.
Right after food, air and water, that’s the one thing we’re all afraid of losing.
The practice, then, is interrupting the worry stream with wonder. Anytime the fear comes knocking, we ask ourselves:
What’s the fear behind the fear?
What’s the deeper issue that lurks in the shadows?
Addicts in recovery programs often use a similar approach with the word halt, which stands for hungry, angry, lonely and tired.
Each one of these four physical or emotional conditions, if not taken care of, leaves that individual vulnerable for relapse.
And so, whatever they’re feeling, it can likely be traced back to one of the big four.
Try going there before you assign the wrong name to your fear.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What fear ancestor are you really afraid of?
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That Guy with the Nametag
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