Imagine yourself high in the air, a passenger in a small plane. Mid-flight you are calmly sitting in your seat, eating free peanuts and enjoying the scenery from your window seat.
Suddenly, one of the other passengers leaps up, and throws open the door of the plane. Shock fills the cabin.
Everyone else begins to exchange looks, the question written on their faces “What’s going on?”
Someone calls out “Hey, what are you doing?” but the sound of roaring air is all that anyone can hear.
The mystery passenger starts moving through the plane. Sickeningly you realise he is coming towards you.
“Why?!” you think as cold panic begins to creep up your spine. Before you can resist he has undone your seat belt and he grabs you by the shoulders.
Pushing and pulling he drags you towards the open door, air buffets your body and you understand that he means to shove you out into the empty space below.
Without a parachute and thousands of feet up in the air this fall would surely mean death. Wide-eyed, sweat springs from every pore. Your heart is pounding and your voice seems to have cruelly escaped you.
In silent terror you begin to struggle. You desperately grab at anything solid to try to prevent this fate. The fibres of your being are geared to resist, your body is tense.
Clinging to the door frame, your stomach becomes a sudden block of frozen ice as you glimpse the green and brown paddocks far, far below.
And then suddenly, it’s over.
Your hands have loosened from the door frame, the force of the stranger has won and you are free falling, hurtling towards solid earth below.
There is nothing left to do. Your will is surrendered to the fall.
Now, there is only your fear.
My soulmate shared this analogy with me in order to help me better understand the emotional difference between feeling afraid and actually releasing fear.
I believe he was attempting to help me know that:
In order to release fear we must surrender to it.
On the free fall from the plane you don’t talk about your fear, you don’t reason with it.
You don’t intellectually analyze its root cause.
You don’t phone a therapist or a friend.
You don’t have a group therapy session to help you cope.
You don’t seek commiseration, compare notes or consult a text.
You are IN the experience of fear. It dominates your reality and you have no thought or space for anything else.
While any part of us struggles against fear we cannot let go of it. While we still act to avoid, to mitigate our terror or bargain that we can handle ‘only this portion’ and ‘not that bit of it’ we are not experiencing the emotions that will heal us and change us into beings free from fear.
As you struggled to stay in the plane, no doubt you would have described yourself as terrified. However much of your will was also still involved in resisting[i].
On the free fall to the ground, there is surrender to fear because you know that there is absolutely nothing you can do to prevent your circumstance.
Releasing fear also feels like this.
We do not argue with it or rationalise it or do anything at all to try to prevent it. The fear is there and we allow it to overwhelm our senses and experience without resistance or intellectual analysis.
The use of this metaphor is to help us recognise that even in times when we would describe ourselves as feeling afraid most of us are still resisting and attempting to control our terrors and fears. This state does not allow for the release of emotion or changes in our souls.
The story is there to illustrate the difference between fighting at the door and the free fall. In terms of the experience of emotion the two circumstances represent very different states.
But this is where the analogy must end. If I carried it to its completion I would be implying that surrender to fear leads you to physical death.
Actually quite the opposite is true.
Surrender to fear doesn’t lead to you ending up a splattered, dead blob on the ground.
Allowing surrender – without impediment – to the experience of our fears actually prolongs our life and often opens up creative and joyful parts of us that have long been dormant.
It is the denial and suppression of fear that results in certain death.
Surrender to fear actually averts danger.
Allowing our emotions, particularly our fear, means that we become more sensitive to the emotions and motivations of those around us as well. We have clearer, more truthful, perceptions of others and this means that we can make more informed choices and actually act sooner to ensure our safety.
When we release fear we avoid illness, we are more creative and for the first time make joy a real and lasting possibility in our lives.
The release of fear allows us to live in harmony with love and love is the way that we gain life.
If there is any death associated with the surrender to fear is it merely the death of our willingness to honour fear above all else. This is a death to celebrate not mourn.
The major block to the release of fear is that most of us believe that the uncontrolled experience of fear will lead to something worse than death. We believe that there is no point to feeling fear and instead protect and nurse it at all costs. And this is why change does not happen. When we live in these false beliefs, rather than challenging them, we shut down full surrender to fear.
We might experience fear in brief moments but there is no ‘falling from the plane’.
Most people who have heard Divine Truth are at this time in a stagnant place. This is because they are living in their fears or still living in addictions that mask their deepest fears. There is still much ‘fighting at the door’ instead of surrendering to the emotions that are already present within.
[i] It should be noted that I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t resist if someone is literally attempting to throw you from a plane, only to be aware that fear is not passing through us in this place.
That was just fabulous and came at just the right time for me. many thanks to you both. Love Helen
I was feeling earlier this evening what a generus soul yours and Jesus is. Thank you for this timely gift.
I love you Mary!!
I have been giggling through this post with vivid images of therapy sessions mid free fall, intellectually analysing and dead blobs of myself splattered on the ground (not sure why that amused me but it did) and also at how ‘big’ I make my fears pumping them full of power and strength. Then I read this post and think that actually I have some very inflated belief systems I am floating about on that are not even true…
Anyway, just wanted to thank you heaps for putting fear in perspective and thanks AJ for the analogy and continuously reminding us that fear is just another emotion and we are made to feel all emotions you guys are awesome!
I was just re-reading this post and I didn’t see the humour this time, more the seriousness of my position of ‘fighting at the door’ and how terribly that is effecting my life at this time (And I don’t think I actually realise the full extent of it yet). I do find it ironic that most of what I ‘fear’ has already happened or I ‘create’ or ‘re-create’ due to not actually releasing the cause of it in the first place. What I am trying SO hard to avoid often is actually already happening. Reflecting on how fear limits my life and keeps me so small and controlled hurts. I want it that way to guard my fear, but what a lot I ‘regret’ later. Love doesn’t get a look in and that is sad.
I am looking forward to your presentations at the up coming assistance group on addictions and really working through those to get to the fears that you mentioned in the last posts comments.
Eloisa I always find your honesty refreshing because when I read these posts first I often think wow they are truly amazing and then goodness I don’t ever ever ever want to do that in my life and then become ashamed at myself and irritated at everyone else that posts basically saying wow now I have that information this is going to be easy. In my experience demonstrating or actually doing what Mary and AJ say is the fight at the doorway, the reason we have addicitions, the reaons we don’t grow………but I did just read this too…..”What I am you can become.
Your brother and friend
Very nice post. Fear is a feeling that exist to protect us of the dangerous, it’s a survival mechanism. And like you have posted, we should recognize it, check the consequences and be done with it, going ahead or backing up, and never keep the fear too long in our mind.
Thanks Mary I was asking for help as you were writing this! I was seeing my pattern this morning where I start to feel my fear and I jump off the edge of the cliff…onto a ledge just below. The surrender to overwhelm if at all, is very brief I feel that horrible feeling for a few seconds then I think ‘that’s all I can cope with right now’. I pray for the will, the courage and to connect to God while I’m doing it to keep me going. I seem to forget about faith. What is the difference between connecting and faith or are they the same? Alwyn
Perfect message for the perfect moment . Thank you Mary
Perfect timing …. A fear came up whilst I was in town yesterday…an angry man looked at me and pow! I went giddy, breathless, shaking. For 10 mins I let it run, sat on the ground. I thought I wanted to surrender, but I guess I was clinging on as woman came over to help me, someone else brought me a glass of water. I wouldn’t have attracted this if I really meant to feel it… but I felt self conscious in the middle of town ( clinging on); we had to get home, (clinging on); I thought I would faint ( clinging on) etc etc…..This is a great analogy and one to absorb. Trying to control when and for how long my fear surfaces is not releasing it, is certainly not surrendering. Listening to my mind who finds all sorts of reasons not to go there fully is still living in my fear. I just wrote my blog on unplugging the cork ( stop suppressing/resisting)… my desire is increasing a bit, I am using my will a little bit more, this week I have started trauma release exercises to stir the pot, so to speak, and it is working, but I know we can even control the release with these and in the end it is MY Will and My surrender that counts. Thank you. Maxine x
Whilst the analogy of free falling and not fighting feelings of fear is an interesting one, and one I can identify with as a frequent flyer, the moment of take of when I just remember ‘what will be will be, casarasara’. I believe the quote ‘allowing our emotions particularly our fears means we become more sensitive to the emotions and motivations of those around us. We have clearer more truthful perceptions of others and can make more informed choices…’ is culpable advice. people experiencing fear are at risk of paranoia. It is judgemental and arrogant to assume any one can know the motivations of another persons actions. One can guess but one does not know unless one asks. Judging another persons motivations leads to the breakdown of relationship.
Thank you for your home-hitting words again! I am wondering, I often find myself shaking or more like quaking within my whole body, through my jaw, it makes it hard to speak..usually when I am with different people or talking about something intense or uncomfortable. Is this fear flowing through my body? Or my body’s denial of the experience? I feel quite tight and tense. It usually lasts a few minutes up to 10 or 15 mins. Would appreciate your thoughts. Thanks again, with love, Phoebe
This One Is Interesting..
Just Looking at The Air Plane Position..
Gives Me A sensation..Because I have A Dislike For Heights..
but, I see The Point…Feeling Fear is different than..negotiating the sensations coming up..or the the thoughts or emotions..
Its Interesting…especially when you notice the people around you are not feeling what is happening..instead…
they might be setting up distractions to not feel….
It Makes you feel like you are in the twilight zone ..sometimes..
In Toronto , Ontario