If life is a coin, then heads is pleasure and tails is pain, and you just can’t have one without the other. The front needs a back, otherwise it’s not a front. Side A doesn’t need to be called that unless there’s a side B. There’s just no getting around it, we live in a world of duality.
I work with A Course in Miracles and I do believe, truly, that only love is real and fear is manufactured by us. But it IS. Manufactured. By us. A lot. Every day. All the time. In a way that feels very real. Doubt feels real. Anger feels real. We can certainly trace it back to a call for love… but it is there in our perceived realities.
For someone like me, who really loves to feel good and just wants to bathe in bliss, this can be a hard pill to swallow. WHY? I want to ask like a toddler. Why does it have to be there?
I DO NOT KNOW THE ANSWER TO THAT, but even this light junkie can tell you some of the benefits of fear:
1. It started this conversation Let’s talk about how to not just deal with, but EMBRACE our fear! The more we talk about it and notice its eating and sleeping patterns, the less power it has and more manageable it becomes. See how I already made it seem cute like a fuzzy little animal? The sting of the pain can go away even if the fear and shadow still exist.
2. It provides contrast… or not. “because without the bitter, baby, the sweet ain’t as sweet”… or “you gotta treat pleasure and pain the same” Pain and fear can serve as contrast to accentuate the pleasure and light in your life, or you can take the opposite approach, and try to watch your reactions to both pleasure and pain, acknowledge that they are both feelings which pass, and treat them equally instead of favoring one over the other.
3. It opens up the door to working with our shadows, which opens us up to more light. Once we get into working through our shadows, the light just keeps pouring in. Once we’ve outed the fear to our friends, noticed all its features and taken away its power, we can start to work with it. Where is it coming from? How does it serve me? How does it limit me? Is it protecting me from something? Is there an origin event that keeps being triggered in me or relived by me? Can I work through that and re-pattern the trauma to have different experiences in the future? Any question answered honestly is a light gem you can take with you to the next level of this crazy video game called Figuring Yourself Out. You made it past level one. Congratulations!