When I think about my life, I think about fear. I experienced fear growing up as a child. Not knowing what’s around the corner when you feel powerless to affect it is scary as an adult, never mind a helpless child. In the absence of positive parenting, too many children grow up with far to much fear in their lives. We see the consequences of that all around us.
I experienced fear as a young adult. First job. First relationship. First loss on a few levels. First of many things which are accompanied by one fear or another. Fear of failure. Fear of emotional hurt. Fear of disappointment. Fear for my safety or for the safety of those I care about.
I’ve experienced fear as a mature adult. Fear of aging, of getting sick, of failure in relationships, of not being a success at work, and the list goes on.
The reason I’m talking about this is because I don’t believe that my experience of life is at all unique. In fact each one of us to a greater or lesser extent will experience all these fears in their lives, and then some.
A particular early concept of Evolutionary Psychology is the idea of Paul McLean’s Triune Brain. Paul Dobransky (Dr. Paul) explains it here. Here’s an excerpt from the linked page.:
“One early precept of Evolutionary Psychology is the notion of Paul McLean’s Triune Brain Theory – that in the course of evolution, the brains of species evolved from a more primitive, survivalist, “Reptilian Brain,” to sprout on top of it, the emotional circuitry of social animals called mammals, with “Mammalian Brains.” Then later, with the rise of the human species, the “most advanced animals,” who have a well-developed neocortex capable of rational thought, abstract reasoning, and a sense of sentience, rights, responsibility, boundaries, ethics or morality. “The Moral Animal.”
How I interpret Dr. Paul, is that the Reptilian brain represents our survival instinct. The Mammalian brain provides our emotional centre, while the third part of the Triune Brain could be called the Thinking Brain, providing us with our intellect.
While it might be tempting to suggest that our intellect is the strongest part of us, this is not the case. Remember that our Reptilian Brain is the source of our very survival, and also the source of our fears.
How it works, is that we make our decisions based on firstly our perceived survival needs, our emotional centre provides our support mechanism, while our intellect provides our justification. However it might feel on the outside, our intellect actually has very little to do with our decision making process.
So, we all know that fear itself actually forms part of our natural survival mechanism. That fight or flight instinct designed to keep us alive at times of extreme danger. It’s not supposed to prevent us from getting or holding down a job. Or from finding a suitable mate. Or from doing any of the other normal things we do just to try to make a life for ourselves.
So why does it have so much power over us? It has power because it’s hard wired into us on an evolutionary level. But we can let go of fear. We don’t have to let fear control us, our lives, or our destiny.
Beyond it’s basic function in times of actual danger, fear serves only to hold us back. To prevent us from living our lives to our fullest potential. It causes us to cling to unhealthy relationships, habits and lifestyles. And it prevents us from dealing with our real life situations and issues in a healthy way. It reinforces itself like an insidious evil, as we feed on fear and use it to create self fulfilling prophesies in our lives, which we then use to justify the status quo.
There is another power within each of us, even more powerful than fear. That power is the power of love, the ultimate power in the universe. The power that comes from Source. With love, we can move mountains, with fear, we can only hide behind them.
Concepts of Evolutionary Psychology can teach us allot about our nature and where we come from, but there’s nothing that I can see in the above theory that explains why love is more powerful than fear. And yet in our hearts, we all know it is, as we see examples of it every day. Parents would put their life on the line for their children because of love. Soldiers risk their lives fighting for freedom because of love. How in your life, have you managed to overcome fear because of love?
Fear destroys lives. Love creates hope, opportunity and happiness. Which would you rather fill your heart with?
It’s time to take a deep breath, let go of fear, and embrace love.