I attended the 9am session of the Paradigm Shift webinar on Saturday. One of the questions that Open asked was “What is there to be afraid of?”. I know (believe) that ultimately there is nothing to be afraid of, but in my human experience I do have a lot of fear at times, which often feels very debilitating or even paralysing.

In preparation for the Paradigm Shift Intensive this weekend, I thought I would name the top 3 fears that affect my life presently.

1. Getting it wrong. I know at one level that I can’t “get it wrong” that everything is a learning experience (or growth opportunity), but at a FEELINGS level I’m often paralysed by this fear, that I’ve got to get it right, do the right thing (according to some expectation that I have, or have been conditioned with) or else something terrible will happen to me, or I will be made to feel really bad. It’s a “treading on eggshells” type of fear. I know where this comes from in my past, but having that knowledge doesn’t always stop the fear.

2. People. This may sound strange, but I have a deeply held fear of other people, that they will attack me in some way, through criticism, shaming, judgment, humiliation or that I won’t be welcome or accepted by them, that I won’t fit in, or that they will make me feel bad. I know that this is irrational, & that ultimately no one can make me feel anything, that I am responsible for creating my own feelings, but the fear is there & I often end up avoiding people or isolating myself as a result.

3. Facing (remembering) my deepest traumas. I have a lot of awareness of what these are, & how & when they happened, but I have great fear about allowing myself to remember the full force of those experiences (or as Open might put it, to “dive into my pain”), as if in doing so I would be destroyed, annihilated, engulfed by something utterly unbearable, that would destroy my very being, my very essence. These are the psychological defences that I referred to in a previous post.

I have blocked out a lot of these memories from my conscious mind. To give an example, I had a serious skiing accident in 1984, where I lost control at high speed & ended up dislocating my left hip & having to spend a year on & off crutches. I remember skiing fast, before I lost control, & then I remember sitting in the snow in a state of shock after the fall, but I’ve no recollection of anything in between. Losing control, taking the tumble, & the impact or wrench that dislocated my hip must have been terrifying & very painful, but I have blocked that memory & trauma out, presumably to protect myself from it.

I do know that by blocking these traumas out & not allowing myself to remember or feel them, I am giving great power to them & preventing myself healing from them. So in that sense, if I were able (or willing) to dive into my pain, I could release myself from the hold they have over me, I would be liberated from them, I would set myself free.

That’s what I would like to do, what my soul is yearning for, & perhaps I am now ready to take that step.

An eminient psychoanalyst once said to me “You are ready to end your therapy when you can tell your full story” ie when you have come to a place of full honesty & acceptance of your life history & experiences. That sentence resonated powerfully & has stuck with me, & I felt prompted to share it here.

I will leave it at that for now.

Best wishes to all,

Alex