Fear Factor

Today we use science, statistical data, patriotism, religion, popularity, wealth, health, and love, to name a few, as ways to control.  We are manipulated by what we may or may not be, become, have, lose, never get or some other version of suffering, if we do not do, think or verbalize, exactly as we are told.

Hung over our heads are images of everything from physical suffering, and isolation from our tribe, to imprisonment, death or loss of our eternal soul into the hell fires of damnation; the ultimate forms of peer pressure.

And you thought peer pressure ended with high school.

Actually high school is just the training ground to prepare you for a lifetime of peer pressure.  Whether those peers are in the form of your family, workplace, church, age group, educational level, or even class, we spend our whole life surrounded by varying groups of peers with various rules that get you accepted, ostracized, even punished.

When done with enough authority and tenacity if some discovery, hidden truth, or discovered misuse of information or power does come to the forefront, their power to intimidate and control does not even seem to lessen.  Sometimes in larger instances it takes generations of abuse before there will be serious challenges to the fear mongers in charge, sometimes to the point of overthrowing them or separating from them.  It took decades of abuse for the colonies to declare their independence of the mother country and hundreds of years of abuse for the Protestant Reformation to happen.

Fear is such a powerful weapon of control because so much of our early training and role modeling tells us not to believe in ourselves. We are taught, guided and shown that we should doubt our own experiences, ability to process and reason, as well as not trust our own intuitive connection, especially if it is not in alignment with the beliefs and thought processes of the authorities in charge.

Fear mongers prevail because we do not challenge and risk the consequences of speaking our truth.

When we find other people who are willing to do so, the greater the number, the less the risk and the more likely we are to join that group.  Unfortunately the more a group becomes cohesive and adopts a clearer focus and vision of it’s purpose, the more likely it is to recreate the peer pressure, the need to control and it adopts an authoritarian approach that it left behind.  Therefore, your ability to be you, once again, is compromised.

Again look at the ways our country misuses and abuses its power against her own people and how some faction of the Protestant Reformation have abused theirs.

The less we believe in ourselves, our own knowing, and our relationship with a higher being who loves and guides us, the more likely we are to be manipulated by fear.  It takes a greater sense of self-confidence to not only not be threatened by someone else’s beliefs or ways of being, but to be accepting of them and be willing to explore and understand them.

Often you will see the tool most recommended to use to help deal with fear is faith, and to a certain point that can be true, but is not necessarily true.  The reason I say can be is that there are many cases where what is being used as faith, in actuality, is the attachment to an even greater sense of fears.

True faith is a sense, a feeling, a knowing.  It is not something you can live by out of the fear of what will happen to you if you do not.

In conclusion, when you move into greater and greater places of empowerment, be willing to explore and question all the cobblestones of the pathway upon which your journey is traveling.  Pay close attention to any of the things that fall into your faith category making sure that they are not just fear in disguise.

Moreover, though there will always be moments of pain, discontentment, questioning and frustration, make sure you are overall enjoying the journey and discovering your own unique self.  We really weren’t put here to suffer or as a target for target practice for an angry God with a fistful of lightening bolts.

Or as I sometimes put it…Smoting is so last millennium.