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.