Are My Fears Real?

Obsessive Compulsive DisorderAre my fears real?  I say it all depends on what the meaning of the word “fears” is.

There are some people who sincerely define “fears” as “things or situations that I don’t want to experience.”  In my mind, these people are investing their fear into the things and situations

There are some people who sincerely define “fears” as illusions and deceptions.  They consider fear to be an acronym for phrases such as “False Events Appearing Real” or “False Evidence Appearing Real.”  But what do these people do with their experience?

There are some people who define “fears” as “the physiological and emotional responses to things or situations that I don’t want to experience.”  I say that definition of “fears” is unquestionably real.  Sometimes that body/mind response gets connected in the mind to the thing or situation to which the body/mind is responding.

Step 51 of Steps to Knowledge, in my opinion, takes the third meaning of “fears,” but addresses all three perspectives:

“Your obstacles must be recognized in order for you to see beyond them. If they are ignored or denied, if they are protected or called by other names, you will not realize the nature of your restraint. You will not understand that which oppresses you.”

If my fear is invested in other things or situations, then I have given power over me to those things or situations.  I have put myself in a position of weakness.

If I attempt to assert that my fear doesn’t exist, when physiological and emotional responses are clearly taking place, I am attempting to redact my experience, and creating a false self which is apart from life.

But how do I break the connection between the body/mind response, and the thing or situation to which the body/mind is responding?  How do I unwind the investment of my fear into some thing or situation?  I believe the answer Steps to Knowledge would have at this point is to observe the response and observe the connection being made without judgment.  I believe Steps to Knowledge would tell me, in the words of John Lennon, to watch the wheels of my fears go ’round, to carefully observe the spinning, and what makes them spin.


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