On Fear, Codependency and the Art of Unfreezing
When I was a child I was terrorised out of trusting myself.
As a result I grew up being afraid of everything.
There is a deep connection between fear and influence.
Fear has easy access to the mind. The mind is easily susceptible to fear. Fear is the mind’s softest spot.
The mind is first and foremost preoccupied with survival and fear makes an excellent threat detector. That is why the mind loves it.
The mind is always busy making sense of things by making up stories, which it will then translate into strategies to keep you safe. The mind bases the stories in whatever information fear will bring to it.
Fear has great influence on the mind. It sneaks through the mind’s cracks, it is fed by the mind’s trust and it grows to become a strong conviction. Once it becomes a conviction it successfully undermines our power and cripples our intuition.
Despite its detrimental potential, fear is very useful. It is there to keep us safe and increase our chances of survival.
When it comes to the weakest of animals, the ones at the bottom of the food chain, it is easy to notice how they live constantly on the edge of fear, ready to run away with every little noise, ready to roll up or freeze at the slightest touch.
When it comes to humans our survival depends on one thing: that we stay with our parents/carers for as long as possible until we can survive on our own. With humans this process takes significantly longer than it does with other species (which is what makes it so important). In view of this fact, it is not surprising that our biggest fears have to do with abandonment, exclusion or rejection.
Whether our most habitual reaction is to fight, to flee or to freeze, when it comes to relationships and situations in our lives, if we start to peel the layers of awareness relative to the relationship or situation at hand, in the very core of it, we will always find the fear of abandonment, exclusion or rejection.
I freeze. In my family that was the safest option. I am now spending the biggest time of my adulthood trying to unfreeze.
The problem with fear is that there is no way to avoid it that will not cause significant damage to the quality of your life. Committing to avoiding fear requires that you commit to codependency.
Codependency patterns are defence mechanisms, subconscious manipulative thoughts and behaviours designed to help you obtain a false sense of security that the other person/persons will not abandon you, reject you or exclude you. They manifest as the need to please and/or to control, the inability to set boundaries and take responsibility and the failure in achieving authentic commitment, connection and joy in relationships.
Put in simpler words, codependency has us chasing our tails, all eyes on survival, leaving us unfulfilled in practically all areas of our lives.
Trying to unfreeze is not an easy business. It requires a willingness to feel the fear. And constant attention and practice to bring the mind out of its restlessness. This is why all respectable spiritual and healing practices perceive mastering the mind to be such an important task.
Trying to unfreeze is a slow, sometimes painful, process. It can only be done consciously. It is the same if you are stuck with the “fight”, or “flight” response. Same process. Slow, painful, difficult and conscious. A process that requires awareness of our relationship patterns and connection to our emotions. A process that requires that we learn the skill to release the fear from the body in conscious, alternative ways (such as art and exercise), so that it does not linger in the cracks of the mind, before it becomes conviction and goes through the default channels of physical release (fight, flight or freeze). When we hear the people from the spiritual community talk about awakening, this is the process they are referring to. Awakening is when we stop chasing our tales inside the relationship arena and we begin to open up to a far more expanded reality than the one which is focused only on blind basic physical survival. It is when we start facing our fear and we begin to trust ourselves.
Text by Birds WG