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Creating Flow

The Freedom To Be

He held it, just like a pregnant woman bears her unborn child. He was pregnant with fear. He wasn’t sure what he was afraid of. Just certain about what he felt.

It was fear.

It was a familiar feeling. A certain hollowness and emptiness with an immobilising effect all over. Earlier it was overpowering, now it could be held and felt for what it was. Nevertheless, the desire to stop all other activity and give it the due attention it deserved was imminent. Like respecting an important guest visiting home.

He could feel it in his abdomen. As though someone had stabbed him with an invisible ice-knife that had dissolved into him and left the cold clammy feeling inside. Now that the deed was done, all he could do was one of two things.

Escape it or experience it.

As a child he had escaped it often. In a variety of ways. Eating, sleeping, doing something that would give temporary relief. Replace the cold feeling with a pleasurable warm sensation. Or numb the feeling by taking his attention elsewhere. A future hope. A manufactured story. At times he dimmed his awareness. Just as someone reduces the wick of a burning lamp, so that the light it disseminates is reduced. Other times he sought protection by getting someone to buy his story. Seek sympathy for his poor miserable self. He had adopted various strategies at different times, just to avoid feeling that cold claw that gripped his stomach, leaving him feeling inadequate, lonely and unworthy.

Over time he had begun to gradually look at it with curiosity. Examine what it was. What it did to him. What it felt like. Perhaps he got tired of escaping it. Perhaps he had dimmed himself for far too long. Perhaps he realized replacing a rotten sensation with a seductive one was not the solution. Perhaps it was time for him to experience it. Perhaps inspite of and because of all theses perhaps, this was how it was meant to be.

As he befriended his fear, he realized there were fears of all kinds. Like Ravana’s ten heads, the demon of Ramayana, in the Hindu mythological epic.

Fear of failure. Fear of rejection. Fear of being an outsider. Fear of loneliness. Fear of being misunderstood. Fear of the unknown. Fear of losing. Fear of being unloved. Fear of being disliked. Fear of inadequacy.

All kinds of fears. And just like Ravana’s heads, every time a fear-head was cut, a new head would reappear. They reappeared again and again. Each accompanied with their peculiar fearsome sensations. Some parched the throat. Others numbed the mind. But invariably all hit the abdomen with that cold clammy empty hollow feeling. All he could do was accept what came his way. The emptiness. The coldness. The hollowness. Stop running away from feelings that he did not like. Perhaps the only way to kill this multi-headed monster called fear, was to go deep into what he felt, where he felt it. In his abdomen. Just like the way to ¬†kill Ravana, was through shooting an arrow that would pierce his navel situated in the middle of his belly.

As he felt each feeling, they began to reveal themselves to him. Unravel their mysteries. Returning parts of him that fear had claimed long ago. Parts that he had alienated. Parts now seeking reconciliation. Slowly but surely, the parts of the jigsaw puzzle called Himself started finding their rightful place within him. Each fragment adding to complete the picture. A movement towards integration.

Would he ever be free of fear? Would all the parts ever be returned to him? Would he ever complete himself? Would the jigsaw puzzle of his own existence ever be solved?

He had no answer.

For now he had taken a vital step in his relationship with fear. He had stopped fearing fear. Stopped being ashamed of it. Not that there was anything to be proud either. Fear was what it was. Another sensation that the body produced. Yet it was something else. It was the messenger that announced the arrival of his own self. Orphaned parts of him returning home. Like prodigal children.

As he held his fear now, he felt it move inside him. Like an unborn child kicking in the womb. He was pregnant. With Himself. A disowned part of him was about to be reborn. Reclaimed. There was nothing to fear.

Not even the fear of fear.

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