On fear

Some of us may recall the line from the book “Dune” by Frank Herbert,

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

That line has stuck with me since I read “Dune” in 1984. Thirty years of pondering it. Interpreting it in a variety of ways to fit my life. When I put my lens of five element style acupuncture to it, I am reminded that fear is the emotion associated with the time of winter, the element water, and is a sign of water out of balance. In fear, water is frozen. It is unmoving. The total obliteration is the all encompassing fear that freezes me in place; makes me incapable of decisions; of rationale thought; and of living my life. Because to live, means to move.

Fear stops many of us in its path. It is how we dance with fear that matters. It is not a Hollywood style western stand off at high noon. It is not brazenly rushing past the fear into more of the unknown. Oh yes, we usually most fear the unknown. These things are all tied together. Winter, water, fear, the unknowing…. Think for instance of a classic (at least for the Mid-Atlantic states) image of winter. Snow piled high, covering shrubs and rocks and the broken lawn chair in the backyard. Snow or water has covered something and what is shown is but a lumpy reminder of the possibility of something beneath. But what is it? A sharp jagged rock or a bag of leaves that someone forgot to turn to mulch. We don not know and that causes an awfully large amount of fear. Many of us do not know how to be in fear without it encapsulating us. We freeze. The classic horror story sound of unexpected footsteps late at night. What do you do? Freeze in place? Dive under the covers. Or get up and turn on the light and look into the fear.

Fear can freeze our lives.

The point is to acknowledge the fear. This is really really scary part. I do not know how to get past this. I do not know what to do. And then you still move forward. Do not let the fear stop you and your life. Make a decision. It might not be a good decision or the best decision. And yet you do something and ice melts and the fear lets go, and you move.

Why am I writing about fear on my acupuncture blog?

I let fear stop me from writing and keeping this blog current. Fear is an emotional imbalance that I work with my patients in how to move while being in fear. This is my movement. In fear. Is it the best move? Eh. And yet, I am moving.