The Fear of SuccessOctober 19, 2011
Why do we fear success? Because it would change things? We might lose control? Because it might alienate our friends? Because we have conflicting messages about money? Or because we might be exposed, seen for what we truly are?
It’s surprising how many core concepts get planted in our minds at an early age. A big emotional upset and the mind makes a story about it. We conclude we’re not loved, not good enough, or will be abandoned. Maybe our parents even said something rash. In fact, those stories often arise again at the first opportunity from unresolved issues in past lives.
When we have a story about a feeling and believe it, we come to associate it with anything similar. We then fear or avoid any circumstance that might remind us of that old story. We feel safe to live lives of “quiet desperation.” A brief idea in childhood and we find it driving our aversions in relationships, work, and family life. We seek distractions, fudge bravado, or numb ourselves. In the process, we fall out of touch with our feelings and thus the means to enduring happiness.
Adyashanti mentions how we might feel like we’re pretending in some vague way, not realizing most of us feel that. Not knowing who we really are, the ego knows it’s faking it and we feel deficient.
The fix is coming back to feeling. Allowing whatever is there to be felt. At first, this can seem like jumping into a snake pit. We’ve come to fear even fear. But if we can find a way to be OK with what is, as it is, then we can let go of the story, the experience can resolve and the load lift. This doesn’t mean wade into the mud. We don’t have to relive the junk. It just means finding it OK. Not believing the story and letting go of the baggage.
In his new book “Falling into Grace“, Adyashanti speaks to this in the 5th Chapter.
“When we argue with life, we loose every single time – and suffering wins.”
“…anytime we contract from direct experience and spin a story, we have gone unconscious…whatevrr emotion that happened at that time will be locked into our system”
“You may have experienced some very real suffering, but when we add on top of that what we believe should or shouldn’t be, the mental position literally locks the painful emotion into our system.”
But if we’re willing to question our need to believe in the story, we can let the thought go. Once you let the thought go, the emotion ends as well. We may not forget the hurt, but we’re no longer saddled with the baggage. It becomes non-reactive.
It sounds much like Byron Katie and The Work. Questioning if the story is true. And The Fifth Agreement: “Don’t believe yourself, and don’t believe anyone else.” But it’s always interesting to hear another take. My own progress was greatly enhanced when I discovered how to allow and release old emotional baggage.
So far, I’m finding the book a lighter, more introductory summary of his teaching. (as the intro suggests) While he continues some of the same points, he also continues to state them uniquely. That’s something that makes him ever fresh. This book includes some biblical quotes, for example.
Looking forward to more of the book.