A week ago, I was happily preparing for a trip away from home….a 400 mile round trip, to meet my sister in a city where we had arranged four days of culture and laughter and just spending some quality time; we’d been planning it for months. On Friday, I had one of my episodes of feeling quite unwell, enough not to attend my usual Nordic walking meet-up, but it was OK…this is the ebb and flow of my life…but for some reason it niggled me more than usual; my usual pragmatism had apparently flown out the window. On Saturday, I began to wonder if I was mad to be travelling so far away from home, alone, to stay in a place neither of us had ever been to, reliant on public transport to get everywhere across an immense urban area where our itinerary had us spread all over the place on quite a busy schedule. My excitement to be going began to feel compromised as my body went into one of its meltdown phases.
It was on Sunday, when my husband made some throw away comment about the Italians being locked down under quarantine due to Coronavirus, in parts of Italy we were visiting just under a year ago and where we had considered returning to this Spring (so, this made it “real”) that a nugget of Fear first got in under my belt. Until now, I was aware of this virus just enough for me; which is a benchmark Ive devised to keep on the same page as everyone else but not dragged into all the machinations and manipulations of popular news sources. I guess you could call this a fear-shield I devised along the route of my healing and it always served me pretty well because, when it was really important, my husband would distill what was most important to me or I would hear tit-bits of news from some other reliable source. You could call it a “need to know” basis and, until now, I didn’t feel I needed to know too much more than I had surmised back in January and so I hadn’t kept up with the escalation in so-called “events” over what was pretty short time.
OK, I thought, if people are cancelling travel then I’ve skirted around this for long enough, its time for me to get some pragmatic information as to what’s going on with this virus before I set off on a 400 mile round trip on public transport and lots of people exposures in crowded places in an unfamiliar setting. Especially as I’m having one of my health flare-ups, which makes me more vulnerable than usual, to a level where I would normally consider postponing any trip with my husband, feeling as I did right then…I had to make sure I wasn’t being foolhardy for fear of letting my sister down. Being what you could call an “at risk” person due to my immunity issues and how severely everyday symptoms can affect me, I know I have to take care around this virus and not take any unnecessary risks that can be avoided. This was my logic, some of it sound, yet my husband, who was going out for the afternoon just as I settled down to open the can of worms, could tell from the look on my face that he needed to caution me not to go in too deep but…well, you know how it is when the slippery sides of Fear present themselves, its very hard not to slide all the way in.
By the time he got home, I was sat in a darkroom, still scrolling all the ”information” and was in a very different place about my trip. In every quarter, that so-called “information” was so much bigger, more distorted and out of hand than the level “facts” I had sought because the mighty force of collective Fear had already joined it, so what I unleashed, in one fail swoop, was monstrous…and it hit me all at once. I could no longer think…at all rationally….about travelling; and my health had already taken sufficient “hit” to be virtually toppled by my sense of overwhelm and anxiety. Add to this the conundrum, the symptoms are coughing, temperature and muscle pain…so how would I know, I get these all of the time, especially the last two plus EDS laxness in my throat can cause all kind of coughs, tickles, choking…so how would other people standing next to me on public transport know not to revile me. It was all too much to get my head around and I was suddenly drowning in the “what ifs”. In hindsight, its not that I made the wrong decision on a misguided knee-jerk; my intuition not to travel when my health was at such a low ebb was probably sound…I am much more vulnerable at these times and travel can really take a toll on me, for weeks afterwards, if I push myself ahead with plans that no long fit my level of resilience, so it was a decision I clearly needed to review and would have done so, with or without reading “the news”. Now, additionally, I had to consider…and I knew it…that a great big hole had been blown in my energy field; with such Fear let loose in me, my frequency was all over the place and, in a sense, this was the biggest risk of all to my immunity, unless I could repair it, get my vibe way up again, in under 48 hours!
So the problem that unfolded wasn’t because of the validity of my decision about whether to travel but because of how deeply and abruptly my health took a deep-dive from opening the Fear box. Unsurprisingly, from that afternoon of reading “the news” onwards, the state of my physical health, which had been at amber all weekend, now turned to strobing red. By bedtime, I was very unwell indeed and I have since had one of my biggest crashes for some time, significantly worsened EDS symptoms (I’ve talked abut the proven EDS-anxiety before), much more pain, all underpinned by levels of chronic fatigue that have been desperate (low pulse, light-headedness and arrhythmia) and quite out of proportion to what was happening a few days ago. Almost overnight, I was rendered very weak, very ungrounded; my life-force, if you like, had become a very low flame. This is what it looks like when a highly-sensitive person takes a Fear knock but, really, its what we are all like, if only deep inside; we loose our footing, we surrender what should never be surrendered, we allow things to happen that we never would have let pass us before, its as though we crumple and fold in on ourselves. I sense this happening on a massive wave across the entire globe as more and more people succumb to the wave of Fear that has been unleashed; a wave that, to my mind, is far more effective than any virus.
So, as I said, by Sunday evening I was already very unwell, extraordinarily so and, an important addition, my emotions were all unleashed and firing off all over the place in a chaotic way they seldom do (Fear has this effect) and then this, of course, tipped me into even more Fear about travelling alone, away from my support systems, including my husband, who is my usual travel companion and my rock, preempting my every need, so I became convinced that any travel without him was a “bad idea”. Yes, my emotions had now taken over, I didn’t know which way my thoughts were coming from, my intuition had ceased working and, to cut a long story short, I prewarned my sister that I was feeling uncommonly awful and I really wasn’t sure if I was well enough to go away. By Monday, I had cancelled the trip and, to my relief, she found someone to step in; which has been a mixed blessing; so glad she got to go yet its been hard to watch what was a trip so minutely arranged by me unfolding from the sidelines…and me not there.
I will say this…the week this has gained me at home has been uncommonly powerful, like it was truly “meant to be”. What it has felt like is null time, since I had no other things planned, had even preordered all the food including some easy meals so my husband could cope for the week, so there was nowhere to be, nothing that had to be done and this unused potential felt quantumly creative….like I could be as much or as little as I wanted, letting go of the sides of expectation. As hard as I had pushed into planning this BIG (for me) trip, I now had this creative void of equal volume, only it was like an empty canvas waiting to be painted on and could go anywhere I wanted. Like finding a sheltered gully in a fast-flowing stream, I have pulled back from life, from all the usual routines (yes, partly because I have been, quite genuinely, unwell) this week and have used this surplus time to take a deep inner plunge whilst taking tenderest care of myself. Ive also listened to what my deepest psyche had to say to me about Fear; a topic that seemed ready-primed to come up, given the reason I found myself in this situation. I’ve plunged some of the topics that give rise to Fear in me; and come up with the evidence that I’ve far less to Fear than I thought I did when I skirted these issues; in fact, my “problem” isn’t that I have any single thing to be terribly fearful about…my issue is that I have just so many of them, as is often the way of chronic conditions made up of bits of many parts of different health conditions. So, really, its more a case of being almost completely overwhelmed by too many challenges rather than one source of Fear, as is the case with a more acute condition; and this is hard…very hard to deal with but there’s one thing that makes it decidedly harder and which leads directly to those more acute outcomes, if we let it. When Fear is added into the chronic or wide-ranging health equation, “almost overwhelmed” quickly becomes “tipped over, as I just demonstrated…so its far better to keep Fear out of it!
Because here is what this entire episode seemed to be saying, so loud and clear. Fear is my undoing; like a lynchpin that has access to all levels. Fear can come along, no matter what good work I’ve been doing, whatever stability I’ve built into my life, however much I’ve honed my existence to my exact requirements, and still undermine it all in a split second. Fear is like the grenade that goes off in a room full of gentle folk; undeserved and ruthless and…well…to be feared at all costs. Its as though it is the very thing I’ve been looking for; the master trigger…face this one down and face it all!
So where does this hard scrutiny of Fear leave “the issue” (whatever that is…the virus, the health condition, the outside assailant) itself? Why do I get the impression that is still standing there, quite impassive and untouched, not even over-exerted, as though we did all the work for it? Why does Fear feel more like a virus contagion than Coronavirus?
I grew up in a household that was quite literally full of Fear. It didn’t look like it at the surface; I mostly remember being sat in my usual chair in the sunny bay window, happily drawing, reading, creating…the perpetual aroma of my mother baking bread….being in our lengthy back garden, happily playing to the sound of songbirds…or alone in my room, my comfortable den, lost in my world of make-believe…waking with sun pouring through the window to the sound of lawn mowers and my mother chatting to the neighbours. But underneath all that there was always a layer of smog. If fear had had a colour, lets say brownish-green, then my father would have walked around in a cloud of brown-green vapour all of the time, accumulating more as he got older. Its not hard to understand why; he had a cacophony of bewildering health issues, not unlike me, only he sought his answers from doctors and medications that often brought him far worse side-effects. He lived in terrible fear of pain, of his life being cut short, of having a stroke like his mother did yet, the irony was, he outlived the age of my happy-go-lucky mother by years.
As a sensitive child, of course, this fear was like an additional family member so I recognised it well the day it showed up at school on the first day I was bullied. Fear at school balanced out fear at home, I guess, and so my life proceeded thus; always that tinge of brownish-green around the edges. My older brother brought a lot of it too; where he was, there was always a reason for me to fear because he could be a loose canon in my sensitive world. In a sense, the fear was almost worse for underpinning the rosy domestic contentment and the more idyllic parts; teaching me, at some deepest level, that however lovely things could ever be at the surface, terrible levels of Fear could erupt out of nowhere and knock it all into a coked hat at a moment’s notice. I can recall telling myself never to forget the daily fear I lived under for the longest time; don’t become a naysayer like all those adults when you become an adult, I told myself; always remember the level of fear you had to deal with every single day just to get through the ceaseless bullying, the dark fears…and so I did.
Just as I continue to honour the way I deal with fear every day of my life now; I know it’s no small thing to live with chronic illness because it’s there all the time, no respite and always new symptoms wanting to appear. Its a joke between my husband and I that if he had all the bizarre health symptoms going on that I have, he would probably have died with the shock and stress of it all by now because even a bad cold can make him feel pathetic (he will happily self-confess). A single bizarre symptoms can send him off into yellow-eyed terror; whereas I calmly deal with that all the time…a cacophony of them, non-stop. So if fear-coping is a badge of honour I’ve awarded myself since childhood, then I guess I deserve it and yet what does that say about the identity I’ve built around it and how does that part of me then push me to the next level, just as all our traits long to expand into new territory, as is the common momentum of all things in the universe? I sometimes wonder if my state of health is a consequence of a precedent set in childhood; to continue dancing with this fear-thing, to higher and higher levels…
Surely a life where I don’t dance with, or have anything to do with, Fear is the better one and yet how hard is that to do in the world in which we all live. Ask most people if they want to live without fear and they would say “sure, but how? It’s simply not possible. Fear is our reality” (oh the immense power held by a culture’s consensus belief system).
Yet outbreaks like this virus remind us; we must…and we can. To make it to the next level of ourselves, it’s a prerequisite that we come to understand that fear itself IS THE VIRUS. If virus is a hot word right now then its time we, yes, focused all our attention on it (not like the papers are doing) but to see what that virus really consists of; the commonality it has with all those things that currently send us spiralling into Fear and how they all share the same source, as- in “motivator”. They all undo us by the same mechanism; by reflecting back at us the Fear that resides inside ourselves; so, eliminate that Fear and the thought virus is gone….and the rest will follow, rendered powerless.
It’s the same with any other source of Fear, for instance my Fear of wireless technologies due to the fact I am painfully sensitive to them. Yet, for all the deep work I have done with that topic, I still reached a point that to go much further would to be to hand over my power in search of the antidote; because to perpetuate the idea that this is my “foe” is to keep the sensitivity alive in me. Rather, I have tended to mitigate my exposures as much as I can whilst steering clear of fear-mongering approaches and even entertaining the idea that I can develop my own immunity…from the inside. I refrain from being the social media activist unless my message has a positive spin, such as a way of mitigating the harmful effects I speak of (the kind I have to use in my daily life), because to stir up so-called solutionless fear for, say, 5G in other people is to expose far more people to its detrimental effects; through hooking them up to the Fear contagion around it.
I delved that subject again yesterday because of an article that popped up on Electricsense asking was 5G the reason for this virus? Its a thought Ive had myself and which I have seen bandied about in various places and, inevitably, the answer has to be “yes” because, as agents of fear-contagion, they were in essence made in the same factory…they are, primarily, belief-forms that harm through the mere IDEA of themselves so, as they roll out, those who recognise that Fear potential, because they already harbour Fear inside themselves, are so-easily recruited to do their dirty work. Of course, media outlets and mindless gossip do their worst, stirring people up into a Fear frenzy and its a done deal before you know it. So if 5G is, at its lowest motivator, an “incoherent frequency generator” at a blanket scale then what does anyone think coronavirus is, having seen it in action for the last few weeks; in which case our job is to do everything we can to keep our own highest frequencies as coherent as we possibly can, by every means we have at our disposal. To recap, that’s not to say that calling out that these things are harmful is wrong; but there’s an important balance to be found between useful, empowering information and feeding the Fear…and we each have to take personal responsibility for finding that balance.
Of course, I noticed this trend a long time ago in my healing journey; and that was when I began to apply some respect to Fear, as you would to a bottle of arsenic on your shelf. I began to notice how it is doled out so very freely amongst people who supposedly care for each other, dressed up as Love; began to see how, when I couched things in the language of Fear to my loved ones (dressed up as loving words of caution) I was, in effect, risking that I harm them because to plant the seed of Fear into their minds is to set them off onto a whole other trajectory. Over time, this made a very different kind of parent of me to many of those I saw around me, who seemed to used Fear to gain leverage out of their teenagers and young adults which, to me, seemed as careless as to pepper-gun them with the most dangerous nuggets of thought that they could, ones which could and probably would explode in their insides much later. Medical professionals do this all the time (which is why I avoid them!), setting off expectations of worst case scenarios through their language of Fear which, they say, is to set realistic expectations and yet they may as well just kill the patient, such is the power of Fear (as happened to my mother when she was given eight months to live…realised to the letter).
So what do we do? If the world seems to be brimful of the agents of Fear in these times then we have to make sure that none of their agendas are a done deal and we can only do that when we come to recognise Fear extremely well and, most of all, recognise it within ourselves, since it has absolutely no power “out there” if it does not dwell within. Did you hear me….no power whatsoever…and when it seems to have its way with us, that can only be because we joined in with it, on the inside. This week has taught me, more so than any other week of my life to date (as a sort-of culmination of many years of self-study), just how quickly and deftly and thoroughly Fear has the power to undo all my hard work, causing my health to crash around my ears and VERY REAL symptoms to appear, to a degree of severity that has been quite shocking to behold and to make me feel like I have no come-back, no back-up-plan, no strength left in me to fight it anymore….like I was all done. That is, it did…and then it didn’t…because I recognised the glint in its eyes as I delved into those dark corners to ask “what is happening to me?”. Those eyes were my eyes, looking back at me from the shadows, the agent of Fear living inside myself, so familiar, so settled-in (yes, the bedfellow of my childhood…deep deep back into those memories of my father and of school and of learning the very ropes of life through a fear-spun perspective and, of course, the companion of all the many years of my crashing health); the ever-present dark twin, close to my side at all times. It seems, after all this, we know each other very well; not so very hard to imagine how short that bridge to reconciliation could be, if only…
If this doesn’t sound like you then I would ask “do you fear anything?” and if you said “yes, external things…” I would say, thats not possible without Fear first being inside of you. This inside place is where the work is done, this is where the healing gets to take place and then a kind of immunity arrises that has nothing to do with vaccines or self-isolation. Just saying that last phrase outlaid flags up to me how one of the most powerful mechanisms of Fear works…it isolates people, making them feel alone, suspicious, out-of-the-loop, vulnerable, outcast and rejected; feelings which are, all on their own, more than capable of stirring up some of our most primal fears. It’s when we pull together that we realise its antidote in action: Love…and when we are in that space of Love, we are always connected to one another, regardless of circumstance.
What we need to do is not fall into the trap of regarding Fear as the next big enemy; I prefer to think of it as an opponent or, one could even say, dance partner. Without it, we would learn so very little about ourselves; as I can truly say from the heart as one who has done the most complicated tango with it all these many years. I have watched, with the eagle-eyes of a child, how it picked my father to pieces, from the inside, and I have seen it play havoc in my life, my family’s life (its a contagion we spread to our children) and then how those children can astonish us with innovative ways of rising up from those ashes of Fear’s destructive path, like we never could (the beauty of evolution), so doubly returning the investment of our rearing them by teaching us something new about the handling of Fear…that one has certainly happened to me. The next generation have a newer, more evolved, handle on Fear than my generation seemed capable of and that gives me such hope for our collective future, but where does that leave us, stuck in our old ways?
Unfortunately, as the figures support, I suspect those generations over mid fifties and beyond will take the hardest hit from these unknown assailants, the virus, the new tech, the climate change…and there will be many other agents of Fear before we are done with these times of transition. And yet the beauty is in the simplicity; the antidote is the same every time…know yourself, know all the ways you are Fear embodied, then Love yourself whole again and evolve out of that Fear. When you see the “energy without” regard it, instead, as the mirror to yourself and reconcile that part of your experience by doing what you would do with any part of you that had gone astray; notice what it has taught you about yourself and then welcome it back into the wholeness of your compassion. This thing had to resort to Fear to get your attention, to remind you of your innate wholeness, your power, your choices…such lengths to go to!…so thank it and now concentrate on the inner work; use mediation or therapy or hypnosis or energy work or whatever works for you but make tackling your inner Fear the thing. There have never been more resources so freely available to delve into the territory, powerfully and without need to revisit old trauma or fall into self-judgement, so dare to go there…and the courage this takes is more than an antidote to Fear.
My inner work, going forwards, is to really and truly get to notice where Fear crops up in my experience, especially my experiences around my health, and to reconcile this part back into the fold of all that I am. I intend to be mindful of when it crops up and when I start to give away my power to it. I intend to get even more conscious about not becoming its agent by spreading around fearful thoughts to others; not even subtly, as we all do when we nod or imply our acquiescence to some of the very-common fear-based ideas that are currently at large. I intend to learn to see through these thinly disguised Fear agendas and have nothing to do with them. I honour and respect that I am an empath and a highly-sensitive person and therefore I tune into the Fear of others; so learning to recognise what is and isn’t mine is key, and avoidance of Fear collectives is important (and this could involve some strategic avoidance of certain crowded places, but for other reasons than people might think). Meanwhile, I undertake to continue doing those collective activities I enjoy for as long as they are available to me, and as long as my intuition tells me to do so. I intend to use the antidote of Love and the fear-energy scramblers of laughter and light-hearted, high vibe, comedic thoughts wherever I can (Spring clean your energy space with these and Fear simply won’t enter); and to be the energy lifter in the room wherever possible. I plan to work tirelessly at keeping my own frequency as coherent and “high” as it can possibly be, using every means at my disposal on a no-exceptions basis. Next time I experience a sudden back-track, a relapse, a dip in frequency, I know to ask “OK Fear, where are you?” and do the inner work before it develops. I’m now more aware than ever that people compete in the Fear stakes like they compete in all else (a foible of human nature) and know not take part because it draws you in. When I feel this going on, or Fear taking over, I intend to send Love in that direction; without getting myself involved. I undertake to release the fear-grip on informations that seem to come from “reliable and trusted sources” that my intuition tells me are merely Fear’s agents, at some level; and there are a lot of these multi-layered sources of information about so it takes vigilance yet it gets easier when we come from the heart. I intend to do all this work, with no fear-based agenda underpinning it; nothing depends on it, though I heartily chose it, and there is no deadline…its all work in progress.
I plan to notice, very diligently (since I have the perfect measuring gauge at my disposal…my highly-sensitive body), how all this new approach plays out in my improved health, day by day, because I now see so very clearly how the absence of fear could be the healing antidote to EVERYTHING going on in that highly-keyed body of mine, just as its sudden appearance seems to hold the master key for my undoing, as demonstrated amply this week…no other demonstration could have been more compelling than that. Yes, I had seen this many times before…but this was a much more focused experiment; it got my attention, and then some. When I look at my health journey more closely, in the light of this, I can see how every set-back I have ever had has been at the hands of some version of Fear cropping up and finding its match stored away in my cells, no doubt from those experiences I had as a young child…and I intend to work with that knowledge to create a newly-focused “fear-free” healing environment and approach; watch this space.
Which is why I can be truly grateful to fear….yes grateful to this virus, to my electrosensitivity, to all those things that have forced me to realise that it is one thing to be well-informed, to take practical steps, to take care but another entirely to surrender to a belief that some so-called outside agent holds the power to undo you. Such a belief is (ironically) an insider job, our own undoing, and it takes things to another place, a worst scenario place if you like, if we let it run away with things…or, we take ourselves to a WHOLE other place if we don’t!
ITS MY BLOGGER-VERSARY: Today, I’m celebrating exactly 9 years as a blogger…that thing I never thought I would EVER have the courage to do…but I did. I will never forget the profound wave of Fear that came up in me the very first time I posted my thoughts online…and here we are, many zillions of words later. Tackling Fear on this milestone day feels like a most fitting topic.
Related post: These decisive times: Coming to the edge, softly
2 thoughts on “What Coronavirus taught me about Fear (thank you)”
Seems like a very fitting time to share your expertise on Fear. We need to be able to dance with it in this era.
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