Fear as the gatekeeper

Fear is often the gatekeeper to what needs to be healed or awakened.

It’s there for a reason. If we enter these areas of ourselves with insufficient skill, we risk retraumatizing and stir up things without much effective healing.

So if we trust we have sufficient skills, or work with someone who has, or we use an approach that’s less likely to retraumatize, then it’s good to address the gatekeeper along with what it protects.

If the fear is strong, we may start with the fear. We can meet it with kindness, respect, and patience.  Allow it to be there. See that it does have an important function. We can explore how it shows up in the different sense fields and see what’s associated with it (Living Inquiries). We may find a belief or identity behind it, and inquire into it (The Work). We may dialogue with it (Big Mind process).

And then we can explore what it protects, if that feels right.

This is a much gentler approach than diving right into the trauma or the emotional issue. If done well, it will feel – and be – much safer. We ease into it. We address the – genuine, understandable – fears first.

And we can do this no matter what approach we use. For me, it’s typically inquiry, subpersonality work, or energy work such as Vortex Healing. For someone else, it will probably be something else.

The more experience, skill, and understanding we have, the easier it is to approach the fear with respect, kindness, patience – and presence. It comes naturally the more we have done our own work, and the more insights we have into the dynamics. We see that the fear has a genuine and important function. We know it from ourselves. We know it comes from kindness, care for the self, and love. And that brings up a natural patience, respect, and kindness. It also tends to bring up a natural curiosity and wish to listen to it.

Note: When I write “what needs to be healed or awakened” I am aware it’s not very accurate. Another phrasing is probably better, such as “what we wish to invite in healing and awakening for”. Nothing “needs” to be healed or awakened. And we cannot “will” anything to heal or awaken. We can just invite it. We can create a situation where it’s easier for a part of us to heal and awaken. Also, when I say “healed or awakened” it’s because healing or awakening for any part of us means that it aligns more with reality. When it aligns more with reality, it tends to heal and – to the extent it aligns – awaken.


Initial notes…..

  • fear as the gatekeeper
    • any identification, wound, trauma etc.
      • fear is the gatekeeper
      • fear of….. change, the unknown, discomfort, what we may discover
      • holds it in place, protects against what may resolve it
      • comes from an impulse to protect, from caring, from love, is love
    • so it’s good to meet that fear, address it, acknowledge it
      • w. kindness, appreciation, listening, respect
      • understand – is no need for it to go away
      • give it what it wants/needs, which is to be listened to, met with respect, kindness
    • a dynamic in many different modalities
      • e.g. inquiry, VH
    • fear – serves an important function as gatekeeper
    • ….



Fear is often the gatekeeper to what needs to be healed or awakened.

So it’s often helpful to address the fear first.


It’s understandable since barging into those areas of ourselves without skill or experience can retraumatize us. The fear has a function. It comes from a certain wisdom and care.


We are afraid of entering certain areas of ourselves and our experience. And that’s natural and understandable. If we barge in without the neccesary skills or experience, it may just be uncomfortable and no healing happens. The fear has a function.

If we do have the required skills and experience and wish to enter these areas, it’s often helpful to address the fear first.

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