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Fear is a funny thing, isn't it? It is created only in our imagination. We create our own fears more than anyone else could create them for us. Of course, another can induce a state of temporary fear in us but it is because of our own thoughts that we perpetuate this fear.

We also live in a fear-based society. We have been conditioned to feed our fears, making decisions that are not right for ourselves because we are scared of what others will think. We toe the line because we dread the repercussions of walking our own aligned path. We stay small, afraid of our own light and greatest potential.

We numb, we hide, we run from our shadows because it is freakin' scary to face them. While facing the fear itself is one of the hardest things we'll ever have to do, the buildup of that act creates more fear than the act itself. So, we spend our lives in this terrorized state turning towards behaviors that help us forget... temporarily.

The more we try to shut out or hide from our fears, the more power we give them.

I recently made friends with my Fear. Sounds crazy, no?! It felt so weird at first but the more I practiced Internal Family Systems, an evidenced-based model of psychotherapy founded by Richard C. Schwartz in the 1980s, the faster I began to heal. This imagination exercise is also creatively depicted in Disney's Inside Out and has helped many people understand their own multifaceted personalities better, including myself.

My Fear looks like a blue sour-patch kid. He resides in the fear processing hub of my amygdala and when I need to talk to him, in or out of meditation, I use my imagination to see him appear. I usually sit with him and ask him what he needs (it's almost always validation and more love) and what it is he is trying to tell/show me.

I give Fear a capital "F" because as a facet of my personality, it gives him his own characterization, one I can interact with and talk to like a child or friend. Fear loves chocolate chip cookies so after hearing him out, honoring his needs, and calling on Love (a red sour patch kid who radiates like the sun) to shower him with her affections, I give him his cookie. Tears, anxieties, and worries gone, I thank him and send him back to my amygdala.

I use this I.F.S. model with many of my other person-alities including Jealousy (green sour patch kid), Anger (flaming red sour patch kid), & Joy (yellow sour patch kid). It has given voice to my anxieties and allows me to easily identify, let go, and take my power back.

In befriending Fear, I have brought the exiled parts of myself into the light where we work together to create more healing.

To validating Fear and leaning into Love,


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