The Fearful Mind – Episode 4

Today, I am happy to share with you all a precious insight by Adhyashanti on “Intimacy with Fear”.

The most important thing when it comes to emotional openness and vulnerability is a willingness to face our fears, because many of our fears, although they’re created in the mind and memory, are also deeply lodged into our emotional makeup.

They can’t just be swept away as if we’re sweeping dust off the sidewalk with a broom. There has to be a willingness to feel that fear again, feel the hesitation, feel the tendency to recoil—if it’s there—and to have the willingness to move into it, to actually become intimate with the fear itself.

Union with fear isn’t something that many of us consider when we think of intimacy and relationship. But when you are willing to be intimate with your resistance, closer than you imagine, then you will see that your fears are not your enemies; they are your allies. Most people have experienced fear in their life, and I often hear people say, “Well, I know I’m intimate with fear because I feel it so profoundly.”

Some people, when they begin to become intimate with another human being, become profoundly fearful. Deep terror can arise. In this case, someone might say, “well, I’m terrified! Of course I’m intimate with it!” But you can actually experience a deep level of emotional pain, turmoil, and fear even without being completely available and intimate with these experiences.

So then what does it mean to be intimate with fear, with anxiety, with some of these emotional barriers that hinder one’s direct experience of oneness? What does it mean to be intimate with the moment of fear?

Sometimes, as in this case, it’s best that you live with a question rather than search for an answer. What is it like to be intimate with fear? It’s the same as being intimate with a view of a sunset, or the leaf on a tree, or the smile in a child’s eyes. It’s different emotional content, of course—it may be much more intimidating—but really what it means to be intimate with fear is the same as what it means to be intimate with anything else: Instead of running away from it, trying to solve it, making it into your problem, you can actually get very close to it.

“Getting close” doesn’t mean you snuggle up to it.
Getting close simply means you stop running away.

You don’t have to run toward it. You just have to stop running away. Then you’ll feel an intimacy. You may also feel a resistance, but you can choose to stay right there.

Of course you don’t like it. Of course you recoil. That’s what you’re taught to do. That’s what our whole society told you that you needed to do. Even part of your brain has evolved such that when you experience fear, you feel compelled to flee.

If you’re out in the jungle and you feel fear because some animal is about to attack you, it’s wise that you feel this desire to run away quickly. It’s good that you don’t sit there with a willingness to feel intimate with your fear, because you might get caught and killed. But the truth is we’re not in the jungle, and usually, when we experience fear, especially the fear of being open and intimate, that kind of fear isn’t the same as the fear you have in the jungle. Interestingly, it feels the same, but the response that’s called for is something entirely different.

When you remind yourself that what you’re dealing with is fear within your own mind, you see that it’s a completely different kind of fear. It’s a fear that’s created within your own being, and you can’t outrun yourself.

Ultimately, we’re going to have to open our heart to the whole world, to everything that’s happening in it, and to everything that has ever happened. We’re going to have to open our heart to everything that could possibly happen. Why? Because we’re not separate from anything or anyone. Anything you consider separate from you can scare and can intimidate you.

But when you have the willingness to open your heart, to be intimate even with the things you don’t like, with the people and events that frighten you, with the state of the world that may intimidate you, then you’ll find a way in which the core of you has an avenue through which to express itself. You can express and manifest the very depth of yourself in the outside world, so that there’s no longer a division between inside and outside and there’s no longer a boundary for our love.

~ Adyashanti

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