One major cause of fear is not wanting to face ourselves as we are. So we put up - consciously and unconsciously - protections, barriers and escapes to keep ourselves safe. We might laugh, avoid, be aggressive, be successful, be passive, try to please, drink, or any other number of behaviors to ensure being okay, being happy, not being hurt.
Let's look at the word ensure for a moment. It is trying to make certain that something happens, or doesn't happen. But when you look deeply, what can you really make certain? Even death and life is uncertain; acts of nature, accidents, violent crime and disease remind of this uncertainty. Things can change in a moment. When you look deeply at this, you will notice the craving for certainty. You will notice your thoughts moving towards what will ensure this turns out okay or doesn't go sour on me. But you will also notice that reality is uncertain. So in essence, you are in argument with reality and this creates a lot of tension.
Meet the Unknown and be friends.
So let's fold another layer deeper into this exploration.
What if you embrace uncertainty? What if you welcome it always? What if you decide that the unknown is your dearest friend. What would change?
Imagine meeting the Unknown.
Say hello. Tell me about about yourself.
How can I live in harmony with you?
You will notice as you continue to look deeply that every moment is actually an unknown. It hasn't happened before. It can't be guaranteed, ensured or controlled. It can be experienced. So why not experience it with full presence, rather than thoughts that try to protect, avoid, grasp or control- the mechanisms of fear. Why not greet each moment as a new one. Dropping expectations, laying down comparisons and instead opening your heart, mind and arms to what is happening now. What would change for you?
What thoughts come to mind as you contemplate this?...Do you wonder if you will lose effort or vision or success? Do you wonder if you will even lose yourself? Do you wonder what you will find out that you don't want to know? Do you wonder if all this time you've caused yourself problems? Do you wonder if you will have to change your life?...
What comes up? Notice this. This uncertainty. This attempt to be safe, to do things the right way. It constricts you, does it not? It is not a way of openness or lightness. So notice this movement of fear. Fear is always afraid of something, but mostly at its core is uncertainty. When you know this, how fear moves and feeds, you can also know the antidote and how to live beyond fear. Notice how you constrict and open and let this awareness guide you.
Experiment with a new relationship with uncertainty, with the Unknown, with each new moment.