Excerpt from Chapter 11 - Emotions

Fear plays an essential role in nearly all our psychological problems. Whenever our trauma knots are triggered by our thoughts or by life events, fear arises. For it was fear of fully experiencing the original traumas that caused them originally to be tied in knots. Stress is fear.

Fear shows itself in many ways. Those who were not loved will often sabotage their close relationships because of fear of being loved. Those who couldn't ask their parents for love will fear doing do with their current partners. Those who were trained to be tough will be afraid of signs of weakness (weakness according to their definition). Those who learned to be afraid of anger will often have fearful rationales for their avoidance of anger. Phobias, anxiety and depression are symptoms that often have significant roots in fear. Whatever trauma knots you have not resolved will cause you fear (i.e., stress).

Often we deny the fear, switching instantaneously to anger, addiction, depression, or our other favorite dodge. It is often an important first step just to recognize the fear as fear. The process of change can then start. We can then examine the situation more rationally to see if fear is warranted. Perhaps something different next time can be experienced instead of getting locked in the fear. Much fear is childish fear, which often may be discarded once it is in full conscious awareness. If it cannot be discarded, then examining the relevant trauma knots may be required.

Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact. Henry James, 1843-1916

There are many available self-help books with the word fear in their titles. They can be most valuable, for almost all therapy problems have some roots in fear. Some of these books suggest turning fear into love. Others suggest facing the fear and doing the action anyway. A similar prescription is to act counterphobically (doing what one fears). When you are next in your favorite bookstore, I suggest perusing them for possible purchase. If one of them appeals to you, it will probably be right for you.

Emotionally Healthy Adults (with respect to fear):

Are generally not fearful or anxious for other than brief periods of time
Will experience fear (or anger) if physically threatened (fight/flight)
Are able to confront and change their fear-causing beliefs to happier beliefs - they do not get stuck in stress
Are often capable of appropriate action, despite high levels of fear

Few of us achieve the above, yet wouldn't you be happier if you could? Perhaps you want to make one of the above possibilities a long-term goal.

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© 2008 by Thayer White
Finding Your Soul in the Spirituality Maze


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Excerpt from Be Your Own Therapist: "The concept of a trauma knot may be useful, a knot in which words, emotions, sensations and thoughts are all intertwining strands within the knot. Depending upon the size and complexity of the knot, loosening one or two strands may or may not completely untie the knot (permanent healing)."