Are You Afraid of the Dark?

 

It’s easy to become afraid in the dark. The place or time when our senses seem to have failed us and, regardless of the often irrational nature of our fears, we are yet afraid. Not being able to see can leave us feeling alone. Fear of the unknown is a formidable foe, whether in the natural, about the future or in a spiritual, most inner and secret sense.

I am not normally a fearful person. My life is fraught with very-human weaknesses but fear just isn’t usually one of them. So, when I laid awake in bed last night with fearful scenarios flowing through my mind like an unwanted, and unending horror-movie marathon, I took notice, got up, and went to a place where I knew I’d be safe, consoled and receive answers regarding the fear I’d been experiencing. This safe place I speak of is wholly internal, a place of spiritual sanctuary inside of me that I’ve become well acquainted with. In the scriptures it is referred to as the “Secret Place”.

I was comforted immediately last night and woke later this morning full of the Peace and Joy that generally mark my life. Reflecting this morning on the quite real discomfort of the night before, I realized that many people, probably nearly all, live in a cyclical state of ebb and flow of fear, and may not know why or how to escape to the Place of Peace that is “Christ in you”; the place of belonging, provision, safety and sanctuary that is and always has been available to all men and women, everywhere.

I think the root of 99% of the fear we face is darkness, the unknown, what we cannot see. When we can see (understand, perceive, etc.) there is no need for fear. Even if we encounter very real danger, when we can see it, we can adjust, adapt and respond. There is legitimate fear, based around survival for instance that is useful and necessary. This is not the kind I am talking about. I am writing of the kind of crippling fear that can often be identified by “What if’s?” What if I get sick, lose my job or lose my spouse? What if I am unlovable? What if someone breaks into my home while I’m sleeping to hurt me or kidnaps my kid while they are on that trip with their friends? What if I did a poor job parenting? What if I missed my life’s calling or my existence has no meaning? These are the kinds of fears that are unfounded, unjustified, and have no right tormenting us. So how do we find freedom from them?

To be honest, this is no superficial self-help writing. There is literally only one way that I have come to live in a world where fear almost never affects me negatively or keeps me up at night (a couple hours of last night being an exception!). I discovered the Secret Place. There is a place in each of us that is literally God. A sanctuary of Light and Life indwelling us where we can go to access other-worldly peace and to receive answers to questions that are beyond us. I’m not trying to convert you here or something (except maybe from a life of fear to a life of hope!). I am simply being honest with you about what it takes to taste and exist in true security.

If you feel unloved it is probably because you haven’t experienced the truth that you are loved already. If you think you need to store up money to be secure then your faith lies in the financial system, not in the Great Beyond, The Divine, “The Universe” that Jesus said we should call Father and that is for you and wants to protect, preserve and provide for you. I am no expert on “God” (and I don’t believe anyone is as God is entirely beyond us; incomprehensible aside from experience and inner Knowing) but I have experienced actual encounter and even relationship with One, Something, that I’ve come to know as loving, and is even Love itself. There is a Power and Beauty that we have all come forth from and that even lives through each of us. I could speak for hours about this, but to close more quickly (and hopefully be helpful to you for today) I want to share a simple exercise in listening that can help you to be free of fear, experience Truth, and begin to set you free from the confines of lies or deceptions that may be clouding your vision and hope.

Exercise in hearing the Voice of Peace (FYI, I have never met a person, ever, who could not hear this Voice!)

1)      Sit quietly, alone, in a comfortable but attentive position (I sit cross-legged on a rug on the floor) with your eyes closed. Quiet your mind as much possible. Experience stillness and be expectant in your heart that you are about to hear the voice of Truth!

2)      Now I want you to ask a question. You will hear an IMMEDIATE RESPONSE that will seem like your own thought but somehow you will be able to tell that it has come from some-place or some-one other than your mind. Be ready for the immediate thought answer, ok!? Now think the question, “God, do you love me?”

What did you hear?! (Hint, it was the FIRST words that flew into your mind after you asked, and, if you heard “No” then that wasn’t the Voice I’m talking about!) You probably heard “Yes,” or, “Of course I love you,” or, “I have always loved you,” or one of a million variations of a response like this. If you did hear, great! If not, ask again and exercise a bit more faith that you are going to hear. Trust the first words that come to you.  Now you can go further…

3)      “What’s your favorite thing about me?”   “Am I safe?”   “Will you provide for and protect me?”  

4)      As you ask these questions your mind will be filled with responses. I recommend you write them down and honor these words! Have a little trust that maybe, just maybe, something crazy is actually happening and you are really hearing the voice of God… of that which is beyond you but is full of love for you. When you know you are hearing, begin to ask whatever questions you want to!

Like I said, this is no self-help writing, I simply wanted to introduce you to the Voice that I and many others have called “Father” and that guides and comforts me. These questions that you have asked, and this one time of meditation and listening you’ve done is not the end goal. It is the first step. I have made a habit and practice of this for years to the point where the Voice is always speaking in my mind and heart these days. I have come to trust it. Sometimes the Voice is silent and I simply sit in silence and rest in the peace that fills and surrounds me. These days, this Place of Peace has become enough for me.

Freedom from fear comes through living relationship and deepening union with Love…God. That statement is truth to me. Where Love is, fear has no place, so the deeper we become one with Love the less room there is for fear. When you begin to worry or become afraid, cultivate a new habit of hearing the Voice of Love. When you know you are eternally loved not much is worthy of worry and the darkness of the unknown can be experienced as peace and potential instead of one of anxiety or fear. I pray this is all useful to you in some way. Peace to you today.