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Emotional Processing in Uncertain Times: Uncovering and Dissolving Fear

Tuesday, November 9th 2021 10:00am 5 min read
Dr. Jessica Renfer drjessica.nd

Licensed naturopathic doctor with expertise in lifestyle transformation, healing from chronic disease and natural fertility & preconception.

A theme that winds through much of the conversation around health & healing, our collective predicament, and our paths as individuals and as a whole, is TRUST. Do we trust ourselves, our community, our bodies, our minds? What does it mean to trust the path? And how do we cultivate this in an authentic and grounded way, so that it helps us to create a solid foundation from which to blossom. What stands in the way of trust? Well fear of course!

There is so much unknown at this time in our history. It appears that from where we stand, there are possible futures. Which path we will take, has yet to be revealed on this physical plane of existence. Fear, has wound its tendrils throughout the collective consciousness, planting itself like a seed that has created immense division. The Pandemic has brought this aspect of human consciousness and experience to the forefront, which like everything in this dualistic reality, has its shadow and light aspects.

When fear drives us, we tend to look to external sources for guidance, and in this situation, we see how this has created the perfect circumstances for the supposed Dominant authority to exercise its capacity for Control. Control painted with the illusion of safety, empowered by the emotional state of fear, is what we are seeing unfold as we speak. We see how so many are willing to essentially hand over freedom & sovereignty, for the promise of safety; the irony being of course, that this safety is not guaranteed, nor likely.

Collective Mistrust in external authority is also a dominant theme we are seeing. And for good reason, it is the direct result of misuse and abuse of power that has pervaded human society for generations. And yet, one can still be resisting out of fear, and this can in ways still perpetuate a disassociation from inner guidance towards or against external authority, clouding our instincts and putting us on the defensive.

From the wisdom of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Fear is related to the Kidneys, the water element. Fear as an energy, causes constriction, blocks the flow of energy, and stifles the natural unwinding process of our bodies and lives in general. The Kidneys supply the primordial essence that allows for life to exist within us, so one can imagine how detrimental to health it can be for this energy to be blocked. When translated into our Western medical language, fear triggers the fight or flight nervous system, cortisol is released from the adrenal glands (which sit atop the kidneys), causing overall constriction and hyperawareness. It essentially shocks the system out of whatever it was doing–digesting, healing, resting, etc–into a state that is ready to fight, run or freeze. We often notice that when caught in a web of fear, we stop breathing. We spiral into anxiety, which can then lead to rapid mental spinning about what it means, what is the truth, what do I do, what if the worst happens?

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