Fear vs. Angst

In today’s ListServe Claire wrote of dealing with fear in her life.

Lately I’ve been digging into some deeply rooted fears and thought patterns that were established long before I can remember. It’s been a terrifying, humbling, hilarious and enlightening process. I’d like to encourage you to notice your fears when they arise and spend some time thinking about what fears and fear mean to you. Do your fears inspire you, challenge you or leave you feeling stuck? Is fear something to be conquered, managed, ignored or befriended? How does fear impact your relationships, goals and health?

Her advice for looking at fear rang a bell, an old bell, which inspired me to write her back:

Would you ignore, conquer or manage a person in your life, who has always been there for you; who knows what you are good and bad at; who has protected you and helped you survive ordeals physically, emotionally and mentally, to give you pause, so you could return stronger and more aware, better rehearsed, better prepared, better balanced, more in tune with yourself?

Don’t make the mistake of confusing fear with angst – Fear is the sum of your ambitions, desires, needs, dreams and their fulfillment in the world, which you (continously) grow up in. Angst is the result of never having had the space to pull back from danger.

Fear you listen to as you would to a dear friend – as an adult you need not take your friend’s advice – but to deal with Angst you need to break down age-old walls and set a trapped younger version of yourself free to follow her fear’s advice.

Fear is your friend; it shows you which world CAN protect you, based on your mutual experience. Angst is your cage, a fixed world, which fear cannot help you escape.

Your Fear is always there with advice. You can regard Angst as Fear plus Desperation, but as it is often without voice or reason, there is rarely a chance to communicate directly with your Angst. Diminishing Angst relies on your whole being being comforted and shown and entrusted with personal power to help yourself. Diminishing Fear you just have to take responsibility for your actions, respect what you do and have done, and need to do in order to survive – at present.

You can always learn. You can always grow stronger and more in tune with your ideals. But first you must reside in the present; this is what Fear provokes and is provoked by, and which Angst prevents.


Author: krabat

digter, forlægger, oversætter, admin på kunstnerhotellet menneske.dk

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