Our fight or flight reflex is triggered by a natural response to fear which serves us very well when real danger is present. However, we can also have an unnatural response to fear. Fear, in an unnatural state is the ultimate weapon of the ego taking shape in many forms. At its worst, it can be a kidnapper of joy and freedom, a torturer of the mind and body, a strangler of love and an ultimate killer of the essence of life.
Unlike visible risks or dangers that we can turn and run away from, internal fear is not so easy to manage or conquer. But there is a big difference, and separating the two is the best way to begin to really see what is holding us back in life.
Fear can present itself smack bang in our faces, visible and real. It can also quietly weave its way into our everyday lives and thoughts, tightening its grip like a python, constricting and squeezing until we are not sure where reality begins and illusion ends. Like a hissing snake, fear may just be whispering to you now. It may be telling you that you are not capable, not able, not qualified, not good enough, not pretty enough, or not deserving. This is the saboteur at play and it thrives on our fear of taking control of our own lives. It causes opportunities to pass us by. Relationships to pass on by. Life itself may ultimately pass on by because the saboteur has told us so many tales that we have fallen prey to.
Engaging with the saboteur is the internal equivalent of engaging with an external someone that continually puts us down, humiliates us, disrespects us, ignores us, deprives, and discredits us. We may not be able to physically run away from the saboteur, but we do have a very powerful weapon at our disposal which allows us to conquer the saboteur in every area of our life. Choice.
Only we allow the saboteur into our life. Only we fuel the saboteur with our fear of self responsibility, and only we can destroy it by making courageous choices. Once we begin to silence the saboteur, we soon discover that it never really has anything new to say, it tells the same old story over and over, rehashing it whenever and wherever, hoping we will be gullible enough to listen and ultimately remain steadfast in its grip.
If we can look upon the internal saboteur as an external someone, by attempting to detach from it in our mind’s eye, then we will see the stories of fear dissipate before our very eyes. We will wonder why we ever listened to the saboteur in the first place. And when at last we have defeated this snake by trusting our instinct to embrace every opportunity that comes our way to grow in heart and spirit, be assured, without doubt the saboteur will come knocking again; but we will be strong, wise, and courageous enough to silence it before its devious attempts to defraud us of the joys of life take hold.
“Be not the slave of your own past. Plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep, and swim far, so you shall come back with self-respect, with new power, and with an advanced experience, that shall explain and overlook the old.” Ralph Waldo Emerson.