Earlier this year, I experienced panic attacks for the first time in my life. These panic attacks were triggered by the worsening symptoms I was experiencing. As scary as they were at the time, they led me to a new understanding: that fear is at the root of the symptoms of Parkinson’s.
Since then, I’ve been focusing on understanding and releasing fear and today I had a new insight. At the root of fear is identification with form. We identify with money, so we fear losing it. We identify with status, so we fear losing it. We identify with our physical body, so we fear losing it. We identify with life, so we fear losing it. We fear losing the things we identify with because we place value on them, quite often, distorted value. Worse still, we base our self worth on what we identify with. If we value wealth, for instance, the more money we have, the more important we feel and therefore, the more we fear losing it. The more masculine our body, the better we feel about our self and the more we fear losing it.
Perhaps the thing we identify with most, even more than life itself, is love. Because we value it so much, we fear greatly losing it and we do everything we can hold onto it, leading to much destructive behavior. What is more, it leads to other fears, such as the fear of letting people down or the fear of being left out.
It is easy to see how letting go of identification with form has the potential to be very beneficial. By doing so, we let go of fear and all the destructive behaviors that result from fear.
This identification with form, is really just our thoughts. Thoughts born of the egoic mind, based on our conditioned thinking, how we were raised, what we were taught and what we learned through our experience.
The way to dissolve fear then is to stop identifying with form and we do this by understanding three things:
- First, is the understanding that all form is impermanent. No form lasts forever. Leaves fall from trees and return to the ground. Money comes and goes. Bodies grow old and die. Nothing is meant to last forever.
- Second, is the understanding that letting go of identification with form is one of the purposes of life. It is part of why we are here. We were never meant to identify with form because all forms are impermanent. We were never meant to live in fear.
- Third, is the understanding that identification with form, as mentioned above, is just a thought, born of the ego. It is not real. Thoughts can change. Beliefs can change. Form inevitably will change.
If you find yourself feeling fear, begin by identifying the form you are identifying with, then go through the three steps listed above. Liberate yourself from form and you liberate yourself from fear. This is peace of mind!
Have an awesomely form-free day!