We’re taught that pain is the great teacher, that suffering is unavoidable and human nature is immutable. We’re told that fear is a naturalism powerful, and primitive emotion that helped and continues to help human beings navigate the dangers and pitfalls of the natural world and human society. We’re persuaded to huddle in masses, for there is strength in numbers, allying ourselves against our common enemies. But what we’re not told is that the fear of the things of this world prevents the world in general and the worlds we center in particular, from being made new.
Why has the world not been made new over the ages? Sure, great civilizations have come and gone, but most people resign themselves to the notion that human nature is immutable, that the world will never change, that there will always be conflict, and that pain and suffering will forever be inseparable from the human condition. Billions of people have striven to make a better world, to change things on earth in a fundamental sense, but the elaborate religious, political, and social structures we build always seem to implode because of flawed human nature. Our high and mighty towers always seem to crumble…and we begin again, with bright, but evanescent hopes for newness.
Fear is a very powerful form of emotional response. That response typically manifests in one of two ways: fight or flight. When something triggers a fear response in us, our emergency response systems are put on high alert and chemicals are released into our bloodstream that heighten our hearing, vision, and physical strength, while also tightening or limiting our attention on the escape route (flight) or attack vector (fight). Put differently, when we are afraid our animalistic nature flexes (typically at the expense of our higher nature).
We mustn’t forget that we move in the direction of our response. Again, fear is a powerful form of response. You may have heard it said, “For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.” This is ancient wisdom, not a new concept. When your initial response is fear-based, you become subject to that which you fear. It matters not whether you run from it or crusade against it, in either instance you are subject to it. It has become your god, for in that moment that thing which you fear becomes the center of your universe and nothing else seems more powerful.
Unfortunately, that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
As long as the spirit of the fear of being hurt controls in you, you cannot be what you ought to be. For starters, when you are afraid, your heart is troubled. When your heart is troubled, you are no longer in position to receive wisdom. When you lack wisdom, you lose perspective. And without perspective, you cannot have vision. What was it said about vision? “Where there is no vision, the people perish…”
Moreover, it is the first flush of feeling in you in response to that which is occurring around you that has true meaning. If you are constantly worrying, constantly afraid of things going from bad to worse, constantly looking over your shoulder and peering nervously around the next corner, you will invariably pull that which you fear closer to you.
If you react wrongly in the moment and then stop and tell yourself, “Well I shouldn’t have responded that way or acted in that manner,” it is too late. The moment has passed. You spoiled it. You cannot sit in the wake of your own destruction and say, “Well, now I’ll do the right thing, now I’ll have the right attitude.” If your first flush of feeling spoils it, you cannot go back and correct it.
The instant someone says or does something, the instant something comes to focus in your experience is the instant that correct function is required of you. No ifs, ands, or buts. “Be ye therefore perfect.” When? After responding hastily, automatically, carelessly, or predictably? No. Now. Right now. It doesn’t matter how “messed up” that which comes your way may be. You have an obligation, the responsibility, and the means to do the right thing because it is the right thing to do.
If you are controlled in moment of pressure by fear of being hurt, your first reaction will be wrong. You will only add hurt to the hurt, spoil something, and further frustrate the flow of wisdom through you. It’s no wonder that there is so much pessimism in the world the way it is! It’s no surprise that Murphy’s Law holds more sway than divine, natural law in the hearts and minds of most people. If you find yourself caught up in an endless cycle of fearing and seeing things going from bad to worse, take heart. Fear not, but don’t stop there. Be of good cheer. The wisdom you seek is at hand.
The distortion patterns in and around you may seem daunting, even terrifying, but you–properly oriented–have the wherewithal to meet them with grace, compassion, and assurance. Your orientation, as noted above, is critical. The inclination of your heart, of your emotional realm, is the key to coming free of the hurt you have long suffered. If the spirit of the fear of being hurt is controlling in you, you will no longer be subject to the spirits of love and truth. Conversely, if you let your heart remain steadfastly centered in the spirits of love and truth, you will find that your heart is no longer centered in or moved by the distorted things of this world.
This is not only the means by which you come free of hurt, but it is also the means by which true healing can begin. Human nature can and must be reproved, not because we fear it, but because we choose to give ourselves–bodies, hearts, and minds–to something greater.