Now, if someone was to take a step back and reflect on what they fear, they may find that a number of things enter their mind. They could find that they have a fear of being abandoned and rejected.
Alternatively, they could see that they have a fear of being harmed and their life coming to an end as a result. Then again, they may find that they have all these fears as well as others.
A Heavy Weight
Regardless of what is going on for them, they could spend a lot of time focusing on what it is that they fear. What they believe will happen in the future is then going to take a lot out of them.
This is going to mean that they are not going to be as effective as they would be if this wasn’t the case. Without these fears, they would have more time and energy with which to create a fulfilling life with.
If they were to think about how long their life has been this way, they may see that it has been this way for a very long time. In fact, they may struggle to think of a time when it was different.
Due to how long they have been this way, they may even believe that they were born this way. If this is so, they could come to the conclusion that this is just how life is and that they simply need to accept it.
A Helpless Place
Being in this position is not going to be good for their mental and emotional health that’s for sure. This could cause them to feel down and depressed and they may have moments when they think about ending their life.
They will be in an invisible prison and will be desperate for their life to change. It may seem as though they need someone or something “out there” to save or rescue them.
If they are able to get out of this place or if they don’t believe that they have to accept what is going on and they do believe that there is a way for them to change their life, they could end up looking online for answers. During this time, they could be told that their fears are “irrational”.
Furthermore, for them to let go of what they fear, they will need to change their thoughts. The reason for this is that their fears will be seen as being caused by their thoughts, so if their change their thoughts, their fears will disappear – or at the very least, become more manageable.
This will be a time when one will be questioning their “cognitive distortions” and seeing how accurate they are. For example, one could question how likely they are to be abandoned and to see that even if they were abandoned, they wouldn’t die.
By realising this, they will be able to see what they fear differently and their thoughts should change. But, even if they don't, they can start to replace their “negative” thoughts with “positive” thoughts.
Scratching the Surface
This approach might not work and, even it if does, it might not last for very long. But, if one’s “irrational” fears are a consequence of what is taking place in their mind, why wouldn’t changing their thoughts work?
The view that their fears are created by their thoughts and that these fears are “irrational” is most likely an inaccurate assessment. There is a strong chance that their thoughts are not creating their fears and what they fear is anything but “irrational”.
A Deeper Look
When it comes to what they fear, this could relate to what they have already experienced. Nonetheless, as their ego-mind has blocked out what has taken place, it is not possible for them to join the dots, so to speak.
By not having this understanding, it will be normal for them to go along with the view that it is “irrational” for them to fear being abandoned or whatever fear is. What this also means is that as what they fear has already happened, there is no need for them to fear it – it’s over.
Stuck In The Past
In order for them to understand why they have the fears that they have, it will be a good idea for them to take a look at what took place whilst they were growing up. It might take them a little while to connect to what happened, thanks to the defences that their mind may have in place to protect them.
If they were to see that they were regularly neglected, it would have meant that they were abandoned and rejected. To handle what took place, they would have had to disconnect from themselves, which would have meant that the trauma that they experienced wouldn’t have been resolved.
The years would then have gone by, but, as their body will be holding onto what happened, it will cause them to see life in the same way. Yet, as their mind would have forgotten all about it, they will have been left with the fear but not the memories that would allow them to make sense of what is going on.
Ultimately, what they fear, in addition to being a defence against the pain of being abandoned, will provide them with valuable insight about what it is that they need to explore and resolve. Nonetheless, if what they fear is seen as being “irrational” and something that they need to let go of by changing their thoughts, there won’t be much chance of them dealing with their inner wounds and becoming more whole and complete in the process.
This approach might allow someone to patch themselves up for a short while and to carry on with their life but that’s probably about it. Quite simply, the cognitive behavioural therapy approach is ideal for a society that is very extroverted and doesn’t want to look deeper.
If one can see that they are carrying trauma from their early years and they are ready to move forward, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided with the assistance of a therapist or healer.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.