Fear is born out of attachment and bad memories. We are attached to people, places, things, pets, ideas, our body, acquisitions, name, fame etc. etc. We consider it as part of our identity or as our identity. We identify immensely with these. For example, criticism of my body is perceived as an insult to me. The roles that I play with respect to people around me define me. “I am a mother, father, friend” are example of these. The work I do is also my identity. “I am an engineer or doctor or housewife or unemployed”. We are also very attached to our ideas. When someone rejects my idea, it appears as if they rejected me. In such a state of existence, any shift in any of the above factors leaves me in an identity crisis and therefore I am constantly in a quest to find ways and means to ensure that all of these factors remain constant. Any slight indication of a possibility of their shift upsets my inner equilibrium and destabilises me. I live in constant fear of such change. It is rather funny that I am constantly resisting the inevitable and in so doing expending a significant part of my productive capacity.
Today I would request you to sit and quietly reflect on one simple question as to which of these factors, if any, is actually immutable and imperishable? I am sure the answer is none. So in fact this whole exercise of fear is an unnecessary and unproductive one. In fact, it is rather counterproductive. The law says whatever you resist shall persist. Whenever we engage our mind in “what if….” statements, we are actually empowering the possibility of the dreaded occurrence. Our intellect thinks in images. It does not understand language. When I say,” What if an accident took place!!”, the image that is formed is that of an accident and I am actually empowering the possibility of the accident. This is the simple reason why most of our fears come true because we create, sustain and empower that which we fear.
Tomorrow we shall understand whether we can fight our fears and if so how?