Three Levels of Response to Fear

The Three Levels of Response to Fear

I feel disbelief at the situation that happened and is happening in Ukraine. I can’t believe we’re this stupid as a human species.

However, I still try to understand where people are coming from. I try to understand where their fears lie.

From my own internal inquiry, I believe these men controlling the invasion are struggling to face their own mortality. It can be very difficult for men to come to terms with their own aging, especially as they get into their 60s. They realize they’re no longer the bull in the flock, they’re the old goat.  

For many men, their masculinity is based on having the tightest body on the block… so when they begin expiring and aging, they start to act out. This is the classic mid-life crisis. Donald Trump is a perfect example of an expiring male that’s fighting against it, taking everyone else down with him in the process. 

What I wanted to do today, though, is encourage you to look within yourself. How are you responding to this situation? Not on an external level, but an internal level? Are you reacting with fear and anger? Are you preparing for the nuclear apocolypse? 

How we respond to large, unknown situations like this has a lot to do with how much inner work we’ve done. 

Someone that’s done absolutely no self-reflection is probably not very aware of their emotional reaction to anything in their life. There’s nothing wrong with this, it’s simply to note. This type of person will err on the side of believing “this is the way things are” and the way they feel is a representation of the way things are. 

They will experience a sense of fear and will most likely have their fight, flight, or freeze response triggered. They will get discombobulated, not know what to do, get nervous, feel anxiety attacks. They will have tension in their body that may result in a hard time sleeping, being worried, having a fear of what’s going to happen, and thinking about when we are all going to perish.

And if they’ve had a previous traumatic experience that’s similar to the situation they’re now facing, they’ll likely experience an even heightened level of fear. 

Now let’s take a look at someone who has done some work on themselves. 

Let’s say they’re a couple of years into some kind of a self-reflective process. It doesn’t have to be Core therapy only. However, Core therapy would be the one that would be most beneficial because it’s addressing directly how the body is responding to this.

Somebody who’s done some reflective work on themselves will feel the whole array of emotions the same as someone who hasn’t done reflective work. They’ll feel fear, disbelief, anxiety in their bodies, tension in their bellies, might have a hard time sleeping, and nervousness. 

But the difference is they have a level of separation from those emotions. They know that their emotional response to the situation is not helping them or the situation.

They may choose to go out and do something with the feeling, but it’s likely driven by anger. For example, they might go to a demonstration, vigorously post on social media, become very outspoken, do a podcast, start a YouTube channel… and put the feelings they have in their body to use. 

Again, I want to emphasize that there’s nothing wrong with being at any of these stages. You can cycle between them in your responses and reactions to anything. I’ve done over 1,000 hours of personal work and still find myself being driven by anger and going to protests. 

In fact, that’s exactly what I did in response to this situation… but only after I reflected that it was the choice I wanted to make. 

Anyway, the next type of person has done a lot of work on themselves. We’re talking hundreds of hours at this point. Years of therapy. Years of different experiences. Somebody who’s done medicine work with Ayahuasca, psilocybin, or MDMA. 

This type of person will feel a certain level of disbelief. They won’t understand why people are acting the way they are and they likely won’t believe their own emotional reaction to the situation. 

They’ll have far more space between their emotional reaction and the action they choose to take as a result. They aren’t paralyzed by fear, or if they are, it’s only temporary. They have a myriad of tools at their disposal to shift their perspective, change their reality, and get back into their center. 

For me, this third state is always the goal. It’s never to shut down the reaction or the emotion, but rather create the space between the emotion and the action we take as a result of the emotion. 

To bring it back to the situation with Ukraine, I encourage you to take a moment to tune into yourself. Take a deep breath. Notice any of the emotions you have, where you might feel tightness or tension in your body… and simply allow those energies and emotions to exist without doing anything about them. 

You don’t need to, at least not right now. Let them just exist within you. Bring your presence and awareness to them, but don’t try to change them. 

That’s it. That’s all it is. Now, from this place of centeredness, you can choose what you’d like to do. 

Get Help Tuning Into Your Center

If what I’ve shared in this article resonates with you, and you’d like support moving beyond your fear, I want to help.

The easiest way to get started working with me is to get in touch with me and sign up for a free consultation. 

I look forward to working with you!

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