Note: This was written four years ago, but the wonderful thing about overcoming our fears is this: Practicing self empowerment is still relevant for global and personal circumstances we encounter today. One person’s empowerment leads to world empowerment; We are One.
The enemy is fear. We think it is hate; but, it is fear. – Gandhi
Over the past few years, we’ve written about fear often. Whether it’s behavioral concerns that stem from fear within an animal, or fear of an animal, fear has always been a hot topic. As animal guardians, animal stewards, and animal caretakers, we are sometimes really great at recognizing an animal’s fear – As Conscious Companions, we are becoming better at recognizing when an animal is afraid, uncomfortable, or feels threatened. When we become more conscious of these things, we are able to help them feel safe.
Unfortunately, we may be great at recognizing others’ fears, but I’ve found that we can be blind to another type of fear; our own.
Fear makes itself felt on every level: physical (sensations), emotional (feelings) and psychological (beliefs). Physically, we may feel vulnerable to attackers or disease. Emotionally, we suffer from loneliness, shame, guilt, fear or abandonment, jealousy, the list goes on and on. Psychologically, not being believed or being given the silent treatment are tormenting for most. Fear of failure is another common fear. These are just a few examples of how the ego uses fear.
When I am working with a client and they are afraid (nervous or anxious), their will impede the progress of their pet’s behavior modification process. When they are not able to be objective, unattached, or in a healthy mind set they allow fear to run the show. Most humans are like this. I can attest to this being true in my life as well. – When I allow fear to take over, I am no longer able to help anyone.
Rather than focusing on our animal companion’s fear issues, this post is going to discuss our fear and how it affects our personal and collective worlds.
All fear comes from thought in the form of memory (past) or projection (future)
Changes in the Wind
We are moving soon. Right now my husband is out in California looking for a new home for our family. Again. Moving is not new to our family. He is in the Marine Corps, so we are expected to pick up and relocate every 1 – 3 years. My husband and I both have Wanderlust, so it’s not such a bad gig. But because we have a number of animals who share our home, it does complicate things, to say the least.
The Upside & Downside
Although moving is a huge pain in the derriere, we are grateful. Moving to California is truly one of my lifelong dreams, and his new command is an opportunity of a lifetime. So, needless to say, we are all proud of him and very supportive of this opportunity. My husband and I will be a command “team”. They even sent us both to school to prepare for this new leadership role. Both exciting and anxious! I am going to be quite certainly, in a whole new playing field. (Deep Breath). As if all of these new duties and expectations aren’t overwhelming enough, we have a house full of animals that have to be uprooted and replanted (again). And this all begins soon.
We pack up. We move. We begin a new life chapter. Again.
Fear of What We Fear Most
As excited as we both are about this new chapter in California, fears have been coming up in unexpected ways. Last week these fears hit their peak. As the animal guardian for four (very complicated) critters, I am having my own issues with the move. -Here in lies the problem; my fear issues.
You might be wondering, What is there to fear? You’re going to live by the beach! Hello!! That’s amazing! –Right?! But somehow my fear of completely screwing things up for the animals is front and center.
My worries and concerns have been at an all-time high.
Rather than being in joy, gratitude, and eager anticipation for the next life chapter for our family, I have managed to come up with every possible scenario of how everything can go to crap.
Internal Dialog Based In Fear:
Maybe one of the cats escapes en transit as we make our week long trek from the east coast to the west coast. Maybe our sometimes grey-grizzly-bear-of-a-geriatric-cat backslides into his former health and behavioral issues. Maybe our recovering-reactive-canine takes a deep dive back down into the mental Reactive Dog Canyon. Maybe our youngest cat completely loses his mind after the week long journey of multiple hotels, constant car rides, a new unfamiliar home, and he takes a deep dive into Stressville, and urinary tract issues flare up again. Maybe all of that happens at once!
Those are only four of the countless hellish scenarios that I have concocted in my mind.
Why was I imagining those scenarios? you might ask. Well, those scenarios have either happened before during times of stress, life’s upheavals, or “Hurrications”, or they could be possible considering each one of the animal’s individual histories.
But is any of this helpful? Would focusing my attention and energy on any of those scenarios help my family? Would worrying about what-could-go-awry help the animals?
My mind wandering and all too creative imagination has not been put to good use. In fact, it could be the very thing that blocks our family’s success.
“You are far too tolerant of mind wandering.” – ACIM
Success AND Stress Are Both Dependent upon You.
Could you relate to those crazy scenarios I concocted? Do you catch yourself mind wandering like that when you have something coming up that is either stressful for you, your family, or animal companions? Have you ever been very stressed and anxious about an upcoming medical procedure with a pet? Do you become nervous or fearful when under pressure with a timeline or big changes with your family pets?
If you do, you are not alone.
You, unfortunately, are just like the majority of people on this planet. If you are living in fear and letting fear run the show, you, my friend are a hostage to fear. And this bondage can affect the outcome of every challenge your family faces together.
Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves.
Who’s Driving Your Life?
I was out in the forest one day with Hocus and an old school song came on my playlist. All of a sudden it was as if I was hearing the song for the very first time. I heard, understood, and felt the lyrics completely. He was singing about how we let our ego and fear run the show in our lives. But we don’t have to. We can learn to take the wheel and drive. We can take control over our fears. We can decide that we are no longer hostage to our fears. Here’s an excerpt:
Sometimes, I feel the fear of uncertainty stinging clear
And I can’t help but ask myself how much
I’ll let the fear take the wheel and steer.
It’s driven me before, and it seems to have a vague
Haunting mass appeal.
But lately I’m beginning to find that I
Should be the one behind the wheel.
Whatever tomorrow brings
I’ll be there with open arms and open eyes.
It’s driven me before and it seems to be the way
That everyone else gets around.
But lately I’m beginning to find that when
I drive myself my light is found.
~ Incubus, “Drive”
That song is exactly what I am getting at here. We can let fear take over, and create all kinds of scenarios that result in unnecessary stress and worry. We can consciously create circumstances in which our animal companions (and we) become victims of our circumstances.
But we ALWAYS have a choice.
We can choose another way of looking at challenges. We can remember that we have the power to choose to take control over our fears and release them. These fears have no power over us unless we allow them.
But if we are giving our power away, it means we have the power to give it away, which means we can take our power back.
If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment. -Marcus Aurelius
Fears Hinders Guidance, Inspiration & Solutions.
Fear is rampant in our world. It’s everywhere we look. We are led to believe that fear is natural and should be embraced at times, but I disagree wholeheartedly. Fear is not your friend. Fear is harmful and it’s unproductive. Fear hinders. Fear clouds our minds and creates disharmony where there could be peace.
Whether you are a person or a pet, fear can be debilitating.
Have you ever heard of the acronym of F.E.A.R. -False Evidence Appearing Real? I had my own F.E.A.R. come up with this move and major life transition. Once fear set into my mind I was unable to see solutions. I was making assumptions, creating negative circumstances, and projecting my limiting beliefs onto the moving process, our new home, and our companion animals.
As an Intuitive Empath I have learned (the hard way) that fear blocks everything. Fear taints. Fear stalls. Fear overrides. Fear impedes. Fear ruins. Fear blocks.
Now I know that I am not in my right mind when I am in fear.
When I am in fear I am reacting, instead of observing. When I’m letting fear take the wheel and run the show I am not able to use my intuition and my guidance. Using my intuition and abilities are how I best connect with my environment. It’s how I am able to navigate the world on a level that helps me to connect deeply, compassionately, and objectively with everyone and everything. But when I am in fear all of this guidance and inspiration is blocked. When I am allowing fear to run the show, I am blindly navigating this crazy world.
I am not different from you in this way. This is true for every person. Fear blocks everything.
Fear Taints Everything.
But when we can consciously remove our limiting beliefs, thoughts, perceptions, judgments, and projections, we are able to find solutions to problems, complications, and challenges that arise. Our perception can make or break the process with our pets, people, places, and events in our lives!
Perception is consistent. What you see reflects your thinking. And your thinking but reflects your choice of what you want to see. -ACIM
The Power of Choice
I am passionate about allowing all species of animals to have the power to choose in every circumstance. The ability to choose to participate or choose to walk away are choices that all living beings deserve the right to exercise. But what about our power to make choices as their guardians?
We have the power to choose as well. We have the power to choose how we want to See our circumstances and how we choose to respond. We have the ability to ask: Is this choice based in fear?
OR is this choice being made from a place of empowerment and peace?
The choices we make affect their lives.
The choices we make affect our personal lives.
The choices we make affect the lives of everyone around us.
These choices will ripple out to everyone in the world.
Are we helping or hindering? Are we adding more fuel to the fear fire?
We need to ask this more often.
Even the choices we make in our mind can have a powerful effect. When a stressful event is on the horizon and you know that it’s going to affect your pets in some way, we have choices to make. We always have the power to choose to be in fear or to release those fears. We always have the choice to stay stressed, anxious, or worried.
But what we choose will affect the experience and the outcome for all involved.
The success of our family and our animal companions during times of change and upheaval depends upon us. How we choose to prepare, address, observe and respond during and after the event(s) matters.
Come what may. We are never victims of our circumstances. We can chose another way.
Choose to tell a different story.
Our perception is everything. If we are afraid (angry, anxious, worried, resentful, judging etc.) we are not seeing clearly. We are blocking our Spirit from flowing through us, sending us solutions. If fear is present, we are not; we are in the past or future. If fear is what we feel, we cannot know peace. If we are not at peace, how can we expect to empower ourselves or anyone else? -We cannot. But we can choose to see the current circumstances in a new Light. We do not have to remain in fear. We can come to a place of peace and clarity. When we do, we can extend this outward to everyone.
I just moved through this with my insane, rampant fears surrounding our upcoming move out west. After some intense inner work (shadow work), I released my fears. All of them. I cried. And I even laughed at a few of them. Then I remembered to have compassion for myself for feeling and believing those fears. Having compassion for the fears that you are perceiving about what “could happen” to your community, your companion animals, family members or friends imperative. There is no need to judge yourself when these fears pop up. And if something horrible happened in the past, it does not mean that it will happen again. Do not create scenarios that are not desirable, and do not drag the past into your present circumstances.
Choose to create a new story.
Choose how you want the story to unfold this time.
If there are preventative measures that you can implement, put them in place. If you are not sure how to implement tools and techniques that will ensure the safety and success of you animal companions, there are qualified people who can help you.
Worry seems like a form of caring, but really it’s a rumination of ego-fear energy. It does nothing to help. In fact, it can make things worse; worry is a form of prayer and manifestation that can call more negativity to everyone
I have started to see life’s challenges as one of those books from childhood that had those “choose your own ending” options. Do you remember those? I loved them. When things got a little hairy (or horrible), I knew I could choose a different outcome. Life challenges and upheavals can be like those choose-your-own-ending chapters.
We can choose to write a new story.
And if we now know better, we must do better. If we have learned from our mistakes in the past, move on. But if fear is running our world, we won’t know how to do better. We won’t be able to move forward fearlessly. If fear is rampant in your mind you won’t be able to tell a different story.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.
Once I finally cleared the clouds of confusion and fear that were clouding my judgment about our upcoming move, I could see solutions. Once I set aside my worst fears, and how I would fail in innumerable ways, I could see how we could all succeed. Once I released my fear of not measuring up, I could see that I was capable of all of this and more. Once I let go of the negative, worrisome outcomes I had created in my mind, I became clear minded. Once I was clear, I was at peace with the new life chapter.
This peace led us all to an Empowered Life Path.
“I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. –Cheryl Strayed
We Are One.
The first step to true empowerment, peace of mind, and allowing our Spirit to work through us is to release any hidden fears. If we truly want to be of service or to be helpful to our animal family members, friends, community, or world at large, we cannot be acting from a place of fear. Before we can think clearly and objectively, we have to get fear out of the way.
Fear is not our friend.
Fear clouds solutions.
Fear creates confusion.
Fear clouds our minds.
Fear closes our hearts.
Fear leads to judgement.
Fear creates disharmony where there could be harmony, peace, and clarity.
Fear is not a friend. Fear must leave. Now.
I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. ― Cheryl Strayed, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
Gratitude As a Guide.
If we truly want to be helpful, there is no room for fear. The first step to being truly helpful is to focus on releasing all fears (anger, anxiety, blame, worry, etc). Only then we can move forward fearlessly. This is how I Am consciously choosing to experience our new life chapter. Gratitude can be my guide. Confusion can lead to clarity. Peace and empowerment are the lamps that light our way. We can all create a more safe, empowered, and successful new life – all around the world – if we choose to let go of fears. When we do this, we will all thrive. And one day, no one will need to live in fear. This can be our collective future.
But this future must begin within.
Visit us at our website: Conscious Companion