Fear is no friend of mine.

Responding to a comment....
Thanks for your note. It would appear that you are quite self-aware and have a good understanding of how fear and anxiety impact you and your life. We are all fearful and anxious from time to time – we need to be for survival. No fear is not a good thing.

I used to wonder “why” about things like fear, sadness, anger, etc. but realized that knowing the “why” wasn’t really helpful for me in dealing with it – the emotion/feeling was still there, I just knew a little more about it. I began asking myself “Does Fear (or whatever thought or feeling arose) have my best interest at heart?” “Is Anger helping me or hindering me at this moment?” Answering these types of questions got me to thinking about something other than the thought/emotion and that turned out to be the first step away from it. Thinking about why seemed to extend the time I spent and depth I went to with it and that kept me from moving forward.

Fear and anxiety know you pretty well and you have a tight/close relationship with them. They sound more like bullies on the playground rather than good friends who want to see you do well and feel well. (Their cousin “good fear” has a different personality and purpose – we like “good fear” and value his friendship). Seems they are pretty cagey too. They used to give you warning, now they have caught on to your hightened awareness skills and now sneak up on you. Not only that, they seem to keep taunting you throughout the day. Nasty buggers they.

You write “. it's like i touch the door handle to the room of fear and anxiety in my brain and sometimes i can walk straight by but other times i feel myself enter it. the times that i enter i feel like i have a few seconds where i could stop and turn around but instead of acting i freeze and am left with just the thoughts of 'don't go in, don't go in.' then i go in and i panic” – and that is an interesting metaphor. I wonder about those times that you walk by and do not enter. What makes those times different from the times that you do enter?

As to “facing” your fear – it seems you do that when you enter the room – and then Fear isn’t very nice to you. Emotions arise in us and we do NOT have control over them. We have control over our behavior. When you run or distract yourself from Fear, after a while Fear goes away. Fear didn’t get your attention and so it left. Fear is not always with you. It is not there when you are being kind and generous, and when you are loving, when you are being compassionate, when you are enjoying the company of joy, bliss and peace.

Fear will continue to arise throughout our lives. I choose to not befriend Fear anymore, choose not to let Fear bully me into doing things that make me despair, cause me pain, make me do self-destructive things. My best friends are Peace, Compassion, Ecstasy, and Joy. Whenever Fear comes around I call on my friends to help stand up against Fear and tell Fear that he is not welcome in my home, in my neighborhood, in my life. The “bad” kind of fear has nothing to teach me, nothing to give me that will make me a better person – he only steals from me, robs me of energy and opportunity. “Good” Fear protects but bad Fear hurts me. I don’t need to understand anything more about him – he has made himself very well known to me – and it sounds like he has done so to you too. What more do you need to know about him? Doesn’t getting to know Joy and Bliss sound more exciting? Would you hit on Fear at a bar or club and ask it out for a date or would you prefer to ask Bliss out to a movie or dinner?

I remember my mother saying “you are judged by the company you keep” – and she is right. When people saw me hanging around with Fear, and Anger, and Self-Pity, and Defeat, and the Complainer, they didn’t want to get to know me. Who could blame them. When I started hanging out with the others, Joy, Bliss, etc…I became quite popular.

I am glad you say that you are a happy person. That means you probably are friends with Joy & Bliss and their group too. You say “i feel compelled to search deep into life” – well good. But, going deep doesn’t mean looking for the worst possible companions, manufacturing unpleasant feelings and experiences, etc. – Life will bring all that to us on its own in its natural course. In the meantime, I’m gonna party with my friends. When the rough times come, I’ll have supportive company. I guess I just don't have time for Fear, Anxiety, Boredom, Kvetching, Blame or any of that crowd. (And, ya know, they don't dress very well either. Bliss wears Miu Miu, Joy - Vivian Westwood, of course.....those others seem bent on non descript dull outfits - I guess that's so they can move about sneakily and unnoticed 'til its too late.)

Peace, Joy, Bliss, and the gang send their best regards.

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