Many of us circle around some of the core issues in our life. We are happy to look at the more peripheral ones, and they can be important and can lead into or be intertwined with some of the more core ones. And yet, it’s difficult for many of us to go deeply into the more central issues – the ones that often are from early childhood, have to do with our parents, and impact our life in ways we know and may not be aware of yet.
Why is that? What’s the fear about?
The wisdom of the fear
This fear is natural and understandable. It’s very common, and there is nothing inherently wrong with it.
Whatever the fear is about, it’s there to protect us. It comes from a desire to keep us safe, and it comes from love.
And there is some wisdom in the fear. It protects us from going headfirst into deep issues or traumas that we may not know how to deal with. Through hesitation, it invites us to first gain some experience and willingness, and approach it with appropriate caution and consideration.
Exploring the fear and the stories behind
If or when there is a fear of going into an issue, it’s often wise to explore this fear first.
What is it about? What do I fear would happen if I go into the issue? What’s the worst that can happen?
Do I fear I won’t know how to deal with it? That I’ll get stuck in it? Overwhelmed? That it would be too much for me?
Do I fear that the central issue the fear is protecting is impossible to deal with or resolve? That I cannot heal from it? That it’s hopeless?
Do I fear I will lose something familiar to me, and I won’t know how to live free from it?
Do I fear I will have to make changes in my life (work, relationships etc.) if the issue is not here anymore, and that these changes may be difficult or scary?
What apparent benefits does the issue give me? Do I fear losing these?
Is the issue fuzzy to me and I don’t know where to start? Or that it’s no point in starting if I am not very clear on what it is?
Exploring the fear – dialog and befriending
As I often write about, we can also explore the fear in dialog and also through befriending it.
We can even use heart-centered practices with the fearful parts of us, like tonglen or ho’oponopno. This helps us shift our relationship with the fearful sides of us.
Support in exploring the issue
There is wisdom in this type of fear. The main one is, as mentioned above, that we won’t know how to deal with what comes up when we go into the issue.
That’s why it’s helpful for any of us to have the assistance of someone skilled, kind, and we trust. They can guide us and support us through the process, and help us move through it and out on the other side.
How we approach it
As I mentioned, addressing – and honoring – the fear of going into the issue is an important preliminary step.
We can also use approaches to work on the issue that tend to be gentle and effective. For me, these include heart-centered practices, dialog with subpersonalities, inquiry, body-centered approaches (TRE), and energy healing.
Firmness and willingness
When it comes to exploring these central issues, we often need a gentle firmness with ourselves. A firmness in resolving to see the process through and maintaining our center as best we can while in the process.
Perhaps the most important factor is readiness and willingness. We cannot manufacture these, but we can be aware of their importance and find it in ourselves. A part of us is already ready and willing to work through the issue and come out on the other side. This is an important ally.
In a more general sense, we tend to find this willingness when we realize that the suffering of keeping the issue is greater than the suffering of finding healing for it. Taking a written and detailed inventory of the suffering the issue has created for us, throughout our life, can be very helpful here to bring the message home. We can also do this in dialog with a facilitator since this creates a container that may make it easier.
A natural process
So the fear is natural and there is some wisdom in it. It prevents us from going into something we may not know how to deal with. We can listen to what it has to say, befriend it, and examine the fears behind it. We can find the support of an experienced guide. And over time, and by looking at the effects of the unhealed isse in our life, we can eventually find a genuine willingness to heal the issue all the way through.