The night after posting my sex-piece, I woke up panic-stricken. My body was shaking in intense terror that completely overtook my inner child. The feeling was a mixture of anxiousness with a dash of helplessness and a stab of loneliness in a grand pool of feeling exposed and vulnerable.
What if they don’t like me?
What will they think of me now?
What will my parents say?
The odd part was that I wasn’t even alone enough to feel this way. I was visiting a friend, who was sleeping soundly in the same room. As I was racking in panic, she was snoring quietly like a cat purrs. All was well…or was it?
This fear is uncalled for, I thought. Why would a simple exposure of my childhood troubles cause such intense panic?
The more I felt it, the worse it got. My inner child curled up in a fetal position inside my chest and shook like a leaf, unsafe and unsure if writing about sex where our parents could read it wasn’t the greatest mistake we ever made.
I don’t know what they will think or do.
I am so afraid!
What can I do to help myself?!
In that mix of cringe and bafflement, I called upon my spirit companions or guardian angels or whatever people like to call them. With a distinct shift in the energy surrounding my body, both came to hold me. They made me feel safer, but far from well enough to fall asleep.
‘I feel afraid, so very afraid,’ I told them. ‘I don’t know why or what to do. Please help.’
‘We’re here for you,’ one soothed me and asked, ‘if you were not afraid right now, how would you feel?’
For a moment, my mind blanked at the question.
If I were not afraid?!
But I am!
What do you mean, if I were not?
I had no clue, but I could sense the feeling of expectation around me. My ethereal companions wanted me to figure it out. What would there be if there was no fear?
No longer focused on my anxiety, I tried to answer the question.
What is the opposite of fear?
Courage? As I felt into the quality of courage, I immediately discarded it. Courage isn’t the lack of fear, it’s doing brave things despite trembling in my underpants.
It is courage that keeps me writing, but does nothing to reduce my anxieties around it. Can I even be brave without being afraid first? Probably not.
Alright, then it must be love? Yes! For love heals everything! Another shiver ran through me as I realised that love isn’t it. My secret belief that love was the answer to everything, had just shattered.
Was I not loving myself by trying to feel better? Why was I still afraid then? If I feel love for someone else, it might even increase my fear of losing them or losing myself in the process. Nope, love can not be the opposite of fear.
What are opposites anyway?
As my analytical mind asked this, I noticed myself still afraid, still small, lonely and vulnerable. All that thinking hadn’t done anything to alleviate my condition. The diversion wasn’t helping.
An image of a thermometer floated to my mind’s eye. It had red and blue lines representing hot and cold. Opposites.
My brain grasped at that thermometer as if trying to save us from sinking. Of course! One or the other degree of temperature can not be felt simultaneously. I can’t be hot and cold at the same time and place! Opposites!
As if catching the falling dominoes, my mind rushed to tie up loose ends.
The opposite or courage is cowardice. Someone who succumbs to fear. A coward can become brave – as many children’s books can attest – but a brave person can not be a coward at the exact same time and place.
Love? Love may increase the predisposition of fear for both are choices of attack for energy creation and application. They are no more opposites than a sword is an opposite of a hug.
But what about fear? What was the question again?
If I was not afraid right now, how would I feel?
As my mind finally understood the question, it gave up. I didn’t know, I couldn’t know. All I knew about fear was how to fight it, how to overcome it, how to divert it. I didn’t know how not to feel it.
As a last resort, I focused on the entities surrounding me and asked my own question.
Can you show me?
As my mind stopped with the analysis, my body surrendered and relaxed, I was no longer feeling afraid, but open, hoping, waiting.
My body started moving and I allowed myself to open up – arms and legs wide and relaxed, toes gently stretching through the fabric of the blanket, fingers brushing over the rough texture of clay on the wall to my left and the softness of the thick green carpet on the floor to my right.
As I marvelled the awesomeness of sleeping so close to that soft floor, a gentle shock ran through me. Each point of me that connected to something – wall, blanket, mattress, carpet, air – also connected to something more outside of all of it. A feeling washed through me, carrying a promise. A promise of being connected to everything.
Then and there I felt my place in the grand design. The web-of-life unfolded and I could feel how well I fit into it. How much I belonged in all of it.
Everything was just perfect, safe and held… no longer by any beings or spiritual companions, but held by life, the universe and everything that exists at the same time.
There, I got my answer… no longer wondering why my puny little brain couldn’t have figured it out. All it had ever known was separation.
The opposite of fear is wholeness, togetherness.
The opposite of fear is connection with life itself.
That’s our ticket.