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An Excerpt from Medium Mentor by MaryAnn DiMarco
Fear happens. It’s unavoidable. It’s part of what makes us human.
When fear rears its ugly head, it creates havoc. Though this is never an easy experience, it can be particularly damaging for spiritual Lightworkers. Fear can cause us to question ourselves and lose confidence in our intuitive abilities or the messages we have been asked to deliver. This then puts a lid on the goodness we can spread. Our gifts are meant to be shared; they don’t do well when bottled up. A blocked gift can turn into a lack of purpose or a latent sense of anxiety, both of which produce even more fear. The cycle continues.
Or, at least, it continues until we choose to stop it.
Like checking our ego, putting a stop to our fear isn’t a onetime thing — it’s a lifelong practice. Luckily, it gets easier as we go along. When we learn to address fear right away, regularly checking in to assess its role in our decision-making, it becomes easier to integrate fear work into our spiritual development process.
Fear is closely tied to ego, because fear is often one of the ways ego speaks. Caving in to either of these forces has remarkable power to block our psychic development, while working with both has an even greater power to propel us forward. Our human experience with both ego and fear dictates the level of spiritual connection we can attain. It’s up to each of us, therefore, to figure out our own way to work with fear.
Why Work with Fear?
Some years ago, at a time when I was feeling a lot of fear, a vision appeared during my meditation.
I was working with the Temple meditation, which has been so helpful along my journey. In my visualization, I prepared to enter my temple. One of my guides, however, had other plans. He took me to a long corridor filled with doors. Then he opened one of them to show me what was on the other side.
As the door swung open, I saw two big black rats. I am afraid of rats to begin with, but these two were particularly horrifying and carried a dark energy. They were fighting each other, scratching and biting as they squealed, a mess of tails and claws and teeth. They paid no attention to me, and I watched them, transfixed and disgusted, until my guide closed the door.
At the end of the corridor there was a council room. I went in there and began speaking with my guides, asking them to explain. They showed me my own memory of the rats and told me that because I am afraid of rats, the rats had a lesson to teach me about fear. Then my guides asked me to imagine putting a piece of food on my hand and offering it to the rats as they fought. I imagined myself doing this and saw that if I fed them, they would stop fighting each other. They would move closer and closer to me to eat and become stronger with each bite. But if I left them alone, they would just continue to fight without me.
My guides explained that in most circumstances, fear is best left to fight itself. It would rather hang out with other fear. Everything changes if we offer to feed our fear, though. It’s up to us to refuse to give our fear-rats food.
I’ve thought of this vision often. I love that my guides thought to show me my own accountability in working with fear, and I feel compelled to share it with you, too. Fear is an opportunity — an opportunity to go deeper on the path and be accountable for what’s ours — or an excuse to run away and hide. I know what I choose. In seeing it as an opportunity, especially with this vision of the rats guiding me, I can be accountable for what’s mine without falling prey to the ego voice that says I should be accountable for all of it. In other words, the rats have nothing to do with me. I didn’t create them or make them fight — they were doing that behind the door before I ever showed up. The food, though, and the decision to offer it, is completely within my realm of influence.
This vision didn’t come to me by accident. As I mentioned, it was a particularly fearful time in my life. I was up against fear of failure — something I thought I had conquered in the past but which was showing up in a whole new way for me. I had been asking for help from my guides in meditation and more casually throughout my day, trying to figure out my next spiritual move in difficult circumstances. My request was genuine; when my guides decided to show me what they did, I acted upon it by shifting my relationship with fear entirely. Perhaps this is why they chose that moment to reveal the lesson: my next move was to work with my own fear.
Our guides are always ready to help us recognize the lesson. We have to do our own work to be ready to receive it. We have to be willing to accept what they offer and act upon it. To face fear completely, therefore, we need to have already faced the fear of what we might see in the mirror. We need to be willing to understand our participation in the challenges we face.
I like to think of this willingness as leaning into the lessons. When we lean into the lessons, we immediately start clearing space for what’s bothering us to be resolved. Sitting with our own discomfort is part of spiritual growth. Working with fear consciously forces us into that discomfort, which is part of why it’s so valuable. Then, instead of shying away from what arises, we can lean into it, asking our guides to show us whatever it is that we’re meant to be learning. We can do that in passing; we can do it in meditation; we can do it in writing; we can chant it aloud. It doesn’t matter how we ask; our guides will answer. When they do, the answer they give will have everything to do with our spiritual growth. It will show us where we need to work next — with fear, and beyond it.
Excerpted from the book from Medium Mentor: 10 Powerful Techniques to Awaken Divine Guidance for Yourself and Others. Copyright ©2022 by MaryAnn DiMarco. Printed with permission from New World Library.