by Mary O’Malley: This is certainly a time on our planet in which fear is up big time…
climate changes, divisiveness, trade wars, terrorists, millions of displace immigrants, bullying and on and on. In his first inaugural speech in 1933, Franklin Roosevelt said, “…the only thing we have to fear is fear itself…” This was a profound thing to say given the economic climate of that time and was intended to shake people out of their fears. But what if it’s not really true? What if we don’t need to fear fear? In fact, what would our lives look like if the voice of fear inside of us couldn’t catch us in its web?
In order to not be at the mercy of fear, it helps immensely to frame this time differently. Rather than seeing it as a time of breakdown, we could see it as a time of break-through.
Yes, it certainly looks as though things are breaking down, but that is true of all breakthroughs. Think of a woman giving birth. Her body must contract for the baby to be born. What would it feel like to see what is happening on this planet as a time of birth – of going through the contractions of a collective birth so that we can emerge into a more inclusive level of consciousness?
One of the keys to this birth is a different relationship with fear itself. The story of the butterfly can help us see the shift of perception we are currently undergoing. A butterfly starts as a caterpillar and for our purposes, the caterpillar represents our old level of human perception, which is based in fear and reaction. The caterpillar is, for its size, very destructive, and if you recognize that human beings in the last century killed over 100 million of their fellow human beings in the name of war, it is reasonable to say that we have been in our caterpillar phase.
As the caterpillar’s time comes to an end, it creates a cocoon, and in its dark embrace, the caterpillar turns into goo. Out of that goo comes a wave of what biologists call imaginal cells – the first appearance of the butterfly. Amazingly, the goo kills this first wave of cells! In other words, the old tries to kill the new!
This chaos of the goo killing the new cells of the butterfly causes these imaginal cells to come together into a community that becomes stronger than the destructiveness of the goo. This is the place where breakdown (the caterpillar turning into goo) becomes the breakthrough into the new expression of life called a butterfly.
The butterfly is a completely different kind of being than the caterpillar. Rather than being destructive, this new being gives to the world, through both beauty and pollination. And while a caterpillar’s life may be limited to one tree, a monarch butterfly has a much broader view as it flies from Canada to Mexico and back again.
I believe that the ‘butterfly’ of human consciousness is being born – a much wiser and more inclusive consciousness – one that sees there is so much more that unites us than divides us! And fear is our birth contraction. We are in the ‘goo phase’ where all we need do is watch the news to see our fear-based perspective. This is inviting more of us to mature into a level of consciousness that is as transformative as the shift from caterpillar to butterfly.
This level of consciousness doesn’t divide us like fear does. Instead it unites. It sees that there is no other; each and every living being is a necessary expression of the interconnected web of life. At its core, this way of interacting with life knows a cellular trust, so rather than living through fear and all its reactions (that cause so much devastation on this planet), it lives from the wisdom of our aware hearts.
You are the place where this shift of perception is happening – inside of your mind and heart. You are the frontline of change on our beautiful planet. Life is asking you to relate to fear rather than believing what it is saying. It is asking you to move from “I am afraid!” to “That is the voice of fear inside of me.” There is no accident that the acronym for fear is F.E.A.R. – false evidence appearing as real!
What would it be like in your life if, when you notice fear showing up in your mind, you allowed a long, slow out-breath, bringing your attention fully to life right here, right now and said, “I choose to trust life.”
Is this a lot to ask of our fear-based consciousness? Yes! But fearing life comes from a misunderstanding of life and trusting life comes from the truth that life is in charge of life and it is much smarter than our little egos. For eons it has kept the planets spinning as they do, brings spring forth out of winter and animates all of life without one thought from you! To trust life is to step off the cliff of fear and, rather than falling to your death, discover that it is your time to fly!