Making Friends with Fear
Updated: Sep 29, 2020
If you are one of the bewildered humans who felt a shock when gazing at empty shelves
in stores that once contained food, paper towels, toilet paper or hand sanitizer, you are not alone.
Even if you weren’t that freaked out about getting COVID-19, staring at empty shelves, long lines, and watching the stock market tank all at the same time, it can do a good job of triggering one’s panic button.
The depth of fear that is coursing through humanity’s nervous system at this time is profound because we’ve not faced anything like this in modern times.
Surprisingly, many people are not aware of the fact that their bodies are in fear. Our minds say we are worried, concerned and uncertain but there is no acknowledgement of the fear that lies in the physical body.
From an energetic perspective acknowledging our own personal fears at this time is perhaps the most important thing we can do in this moment. Unfortunately, our natural reaction to feelings of fear is repression because it feels icky and if I admit that I’m in fear then it means things are really bad.
The physical body has certain innate fears that when recognized by the mind, actually helps release and relieve those fears thereby lowering one’s anxieties. Accepting that our fears exist actually makes it easier for us to move forward through the crisis.
Among the body’s fears are the fear of death and dying, fear of the unknown and fear of being alone or losing people close to us. COVID-19 checks all those boxes.
People have said to me, ‘I’m not afraid, I’m just taking precautions’ or ‘It seems overblown but I’m stocking up just in case.’ These statements are denials of one’s natural fears.
So much is still unknown about the virus and it will take time for researchers to get the answers. It will take time for health organizations to get prepared for the potential overload.
We are all hanging over a barrel right now wondering what’s going to happen, how long will this go on, how bad will it get, how to pay bills and care for our families. The unknown is all we have in this moment.
With an estimated survival rate of 99% I found that I was much more fearful of people’s panicked reactions to the pandemic announcement than I was of the virus itself.
My spouse shared his experience of going to the grocery store and Costco where he could feel panic in the air and he found the visual of rows of empty shelves very disturbing to witness. His body went into fear, lots of fear.
When I turned the TV on and saw a special report that for the second time that week the stock market stopped trading for 15 minutes to stop the speed at which the market was dropping, I went into shock for a second. It felt like the world was about to spiral into chaos and I couldn’t stop it, I couldn’t stop anything and I felt things were completely out of control. I was in fear and I was scared.
I find that I have to manage my fear every single day and I do that by first acknowledging my fears and then I go about my day. I make decisions based on what I feel is best for me in the moment and I have much less anxiety.
I also have much compassion for those who are struggling and if someone needs to stockpile toilet paper to feel safe, that’s okay. I can use Kleenex instead.
Along with crisis comes a tremendous amount of generosity, goodwill and unity. It’s important to remember that we can all move forward with a positive attitude while still acknowledging our fears.
Fear doesn’t have to paralyze us if we are willing to look at it. Embracing the fear will greatly help to get us through what lies ahead.