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What Is The Case? - Building A Healthier Fear
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What is the Case? - Building A Healthier Fear

Fear is as essential to our lives as hearts, lungs, kidney’s etc. It plays a vital role in our survival. Yet just as our vital organs can become enlarged or inflamed, so too can our fear. We can to all intents and purposes have fear attacks or palpitations. Our resting fear-rate can escalate to point where it doesn’t just pump life-dependent energy around us; it can also endanger the very life it enables; ours.

Because fear has this capacity to enable and disable us; fear benefits from being looked after through healthy diet and regular exercise. It is good to both feed and exercise our fear so as to keep it in good condition; a condition in which it is less likely to become enlarged or inflamed.

If we were to feed our fear healthily and raise it to a higher level for a few minutes per day, we can effectively create a strong, healthy, yet steady, unstressed fear that can leap into action but settle back into a resting state quite quickly once physical and emotional danger have passed. One way to do this is to use our imagination; which ironically shows the unhealthy potential of the imagination.

Let’s concentrate on a particular stimulus for fear; the feeling that one is being misused and is in danger of being left impoverished. Such a fear might arise in one who feels they are being conned or set up or cheated on.

So let’s imagine that we feel/sense/suspect that we are being conned; that our financial, emotional and physical security is under-threat. If we really allow ourselves to engage with this exercise we will likely feel anxious about our future.

If we are about to potentially lose our financial, emotional and physical security then we are potentially about to become financially broke, emotionally cheated or betrayed and perhaps homeless. Remember this is an exercise; not a real scenario, so we can bear that in mind as we let ourselves increase our fear-rate for a few minutes.

Imagine that we are now penniless, heart-broken, destitute, and homeless. It conjures up the fear we might sense when passing the tramp on the street or the shivering body in a shop-doorway, vulnerable to hypothermia and abuse. Let us stop for a moment and sense that situation. Despair, fear, discomfort, hunger, depression, indignity, soiling, abuse...

...Now draw back a little and look at what would be involved in getting to that place. We can detect three primary concerns; the emotional concern, the physical concern and the spiritual concern; exemplified by despair, hunger and indignity. Let us just for a moment stop and sense that situation...

Now let’s draw back further. If we look we can see that our fear; invoked by the feeling that we are being cheated, opened up the imaginary-potential for us to be penniless, heart-broken, destitute, and homeless. And if we draw back further we can see that what really started the process was a feeling, a sense, a suspicion. It was not an actual evidence-based fact.

This is why the good detective will not leap from suspicion to a full blown imaginary image of what might happen. If she does so she is likely to harm herself and possibly others.

We can see therefore, that the exercise of increasing our fear-rate and sensing where it takes us, leads us to an outcome in which evidence-based fact is a better focus than the imaginary outcome.

The message in this particular instance of course is that in dealing with fear, it is better to ask of a sense or suspicion or thought; is there factual evidence behind this?

If there is, then fear is fulfilling its vital role. If it is not; then fear might be merely attacks or palpitations suggesting the need for a healthier approach to fear; the fact based approach rather than the imagination based approach.

What is the case? Rather than What could be the case?

Street Talk

Amazing you have taken on a subject that a whole lot of people are (afraid) to comment on or even admit, I admire your candid illustrations and the style is brazen, you have covered so much in so little. Looking forward to more in the future; keep up the brave work.

  about 9 years ago
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