afraid to live, afraid to die

vole from William

Within the past couple of weeks, I’ve discovered that one of the major patterns I carry is being afraid both to live and to die.

This has been true my whole life, but I’ve never allowed that core fear to rise up into knowing. It is so much better to be aware of the pattern rather than keeping it shoved down inside, where it leaks out in peculiar and unhelpful ways–profound anxiety, for one. Now I see how that fear ruled many aspects of my life. Like the tiny mouse in the picture, I’ve hidden myself, metaphorically speaking, in the corner, thinking that I can’t be seen, and hence am safer.

It’s not that the fear has left, it hasn’t. Perhaps it never will; it doesn’t matter any more. Now I can befriend the fear–in this moment–welcome it in, and get to know it. There is no need to discover the story of why or when it first developed; nothing to unravel or solve.

Simply to meet it, and greet it, now.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
photo: taken by William Collinge, who, after capturing the mouse in his office, lovingly deposited the small creature outside.

7 Comments

Filed under Daily reminders, Musings, Non-duality

7 responses to “afraid to live, afraid to die

  1. Rabi'a Neeno

    Loved this. Loved William’s mouse. Just 2 days ago I had a sudden realization that I am terrified a large percentage of my waking life. Surprised to see me going about my daily life while this fear lays hidden beneath a familiar and distracting exterior.

  2. That’s been my game as well AND now I’m ready to live and BE with all the feelings. YES_ many thanks

  3. “Afraid to live” sounds huge and monolithic. Do you have fears of particular things? This is something I see in myself-

    I met a woman who had a support worker. The support worker walked down the street with her, then walked down the main shopping street with her, then encouraged her to walk down the main shopping street alone, and meet the support worker at the other end for a coffee. That might seem like being able to manage nothing- I see how I deprecate myself, where my abilities seem to me far less than I would wish- but it is working at and developing a useful skill (walking in crowds) from where I am rather than from where I would like to be.

    But if you fear the whole world, that is too big to deal with. The fear will trap you.

    • jimrich

      re: the fear will trap you …… ONLY IF you fail to allow it and other buried feelings to come up and be vented or discharged. Fear is trying to get us to stop holding in bad and painful feelings from the past and express or vent them.

  4. Pingback: Quote of the Day 50 – “I Am Not Afraid of…” | Steven Bowen's Blog

  5. I understand this so well. Thank you for articulating it and by putting it into words and naming it, it gives us all clarity of the unseen and the un-named which we sometimes carry inside us. Thank you as always for your beautiful insights Amrita. Sharon

  6. jimrich

    re: Within the past couple of weeks, I’ve discovered that one of the major patterns I carry is being afraid both to live and to die.
    … I was afraid my whole life which is why I finally entered therapy in a 12 step support group.
    re: This has been true my whole life, but I’ve never allowed that core fear to rise up into knowing. It is so much better to be aware of the pattern rather than keeping it shoved down inside, where it leaks out in peculiar and unhelpful ways–profound anxiety, for one.
    … I had repressed and held in so many sour, damaged and painful feelings but they just wouldn’t stay down and I finally became very emotionally ill.
    re: Now I see how that fear ruled many aspects of my life. Like the tiny mouse in the picture, I’ve hidden myself, metaphorically speaking, in the corner, thinking that I can’t be seen, and hence am safer.
    … Same here. I believed I could get by by hiding my feelings and pretending to be OK, which most folks happily accepted.
    re: It’s not that the fear has left, it hasn’t. Perhaps it never will; it doesn’t matter any more. Now I can befriend the fear–in this moment–welcome it in, and get to know it. There is no need to discover the story of why or when it first developed; nothing to unravel or solve.
    … I had to go into my ugly past and see exactly where and why I had stuffed down all those painful, angry, fearful feelings and then I let them slowly come up for expression and release as best I could. I have seen other “spiritual” folks claiming not to need to know why or how they became so troubled but I just had to examine the very bad parenting and family dynamics that caused me to bottle up my troubled feelings from about 4 years old. I am very glad that I did because I needed to know why and how it all happened so I am not tempted to bottle up my feelings again in my current life.
    re: Simply to meet it, and greet it, now.
    ….LOL, I had to do a lot of venting and anger work to undo the parental damages that I had bottled up so long ago. For me, it began with “meeting and greeting” but I just had to do a lot of physical rage and sorrow work which involved lots of weeping that most folks do not want to be around or witness – especially “spiritual” folks. It took a while to unload and vent as much of that emotional sludge as I could but it just had to be done and I feel a lot better after having dumped those ugly, hateful and painful feelings thanks to things that psychology, not spirituality, taught me to do.
    I wish you luck with discovering exactly what happened to you, as a child, and why so that your buried pain and anger will have a way to surface and finally leave you. I am sure you realize that, so long as those troubled feelings are still stuck inside of you, there will never be real peace in your life no matter how much spiritual work you do to keep your daemons under control.

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