FEAR – False Energy Appearing Real

One morning while on the treadmill watching an episode of season one of Supernatural (don’t judge me, it’s a good show), I came upon a startling revelation about Fear. It was episode 10 when the Winchester brothers were investigating hauntings at an abandoned psychiatric hospital. While they were there, they meet up with a young couple who are trapped now due to the spirits of the deceased former patients haunting the place. The female of the couple gets locked in a room with one of the spirits and true to good horror genre, screams her head off and tries to get away from the spirit despite being locked in a room with it. Dean yells at the girl to not run away from the spirit but to look at it and listen to what it has to say (part of the storyline). I was floored with how analogous that was with facing our fears.

Most 12 step circles say that fear stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. While I would not necessarily disagree with that, I think it’s more false energy appearing real. As in the example of this poignant episode of Supernatural, we give our fears so much energy that we are unwilling to look at it, instead, resorting to any myriad of maladaptive coping strategies to eliminate and/or run away from the fear. We give our fears so much energy that it takes a life of it’s own, thereby making into this big hulking zombie. And the other thing to remember about fear is that it is always based on future beliefs of what we think may happen, thus, giving it more false energy. Here is the crazy thing – the result that we think will happen will become a reality only because we make it so not because of the actual event we are fearing. Thereby, fear becomes this big powerful ball of energy that has little to no basis in reality.

I would like to take the opportunity to share something with you all. Big bad Dr. O is petrified of rejection. Yes, petrified to the point of phobic. It can get so bad that I almost avoid dating altogether. So what happens – before I even meet a guy or as I am getting to know him, the energy I give to my fear becomes so strong that I convince myself that I will be rejected. To not feel the fear of being rejected, insert any one of the various maladaptive coping strategies in my repertoire. I numb the fear but also avoid getting to know someone on an intimate level. It becomes this vicious cycle that I have only just begun to break.

The reason why this episode of Supernatural struck such a cord for me was because it made me think: what do my fears have to tell me? What can I learn by looking at it? Instead of giving it all this false energy, what can it be teaching me? Sometimes, it allows me to recognize an unhealed part of myself that needs some work. Other times, it reminds me of the various adaptive coping strategies I can use to work through this. One of my favorite ways was taught to me by my good friend, Gabby Bernstein. She says, when caught in the grips of fear, as spirit (or God, or whatever Higher Power you believe in) to reinterpret this for you. Another favorite is that it gives me the opportunity to practice what I teach my clients, which is to rewrite whatever fear based story I am living in. I usually do this by saying, “Once Upon A Time…” and go on to rewrite my story with a happy ending. At the very least, my fears triggers me to think very globally on the lesson that can be learned. Any one of these adaptive coping strategies will decrease the false energy I give my fears. Finally, A Course In Miracles has a lesson that says, “I can choose peace instead of this.”

Next time you feel fear, look and listen to it instead of running away from it. Most, if not all, of the time, it has something to tell and teach us. Giving it all that false energy just makes it grow in intensity and power. Rewrite the fear based story that you generate and get to that authentic place where you step into the fullness of your power.

Tags: fear, energy, appearing, real, spirituality, psychology, lgbt, coaching