Rising Above Fear

A little seed, when Loved, grows into a beautiful tree.

It’s been forever that we humans (on Earth, anyway) have been taught by churches, their holy books and well-meaning others concerned with our probable damnation, that the price of our sins is eternal burning in a place called Hell. This fear-inspired belief seems to permeate our very cells—we know we’re bad people and, if held at gunpoint (or on our deathbeds), we can come up with a long list of our (major) sins and our (minor) mistakes. I lost my health and confidence to overriding guilt and shame, but I do have some hard-earned insight on this subject.

I hope I’ve got this right—that Jewish people don’t believe in heaven or hell. Their bible, the Torah, became the Old Testament of our bible, but it’s not crippling to them because it was written to teach people how to live in the here and now. I suppose guilt and shame can still separate Jews from their religion for a time, but I don’t think they fear eternal damnation. They decide to do better and carry on. This feels really life-affirming to me.

Buddhists don’t believe in heaven or hell, either. Spiritual enlightenment is the goal for this lifetime and is achieved by a strong commitment to right-living as taught by Gautama Buddha. They believe in karma (reaping what we sow) as a teacher, and that we live multiple lifetimes until the decision is made to give up our desires, along with our suffering, to become one in consciousness with All That Is.

Is it just Christians who keep a running tab of our sins and a fear of the afterlife—because we humans are unable to be perfect? I’m not certain—there may be people of other faiths who do the same—but I am sure that fear turns us away from God/Christ/Love/Great Mystery/the Higher Self and what is the point of that, when we’re born here to connect with our creator? Fear destroys us; knowing we are Loved heals us. To rise above my own fears, I chose Love, moving inch by inch, until Love flooded my heart and invited me to forgive myself and all others. It took me nearly all of my life to get here and I still sink into dark places, but now there’s the extended hand of Love that says, “Here, let me help you up.”

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8 thoughts on “Rising Above Fear

  1. THANK YOU!- Finally, here is an insight to recognise the garbage we have had poured onto us from birth! We are not born in sin nor are we evil. It is only those three religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam that are Abraham based that have created these false premises and divided humanity so badly and indeed tragically as we have so very sadly seen, especially in recent years, in Afghanistan – but indeed across the world in varying degrees.
    When we are born we are innocent children but become corrupted as we mature from what we are taught by our conditioned parents and the culture we live in as are all children. It’s all we know.

    I remember as a child in Quebec City around 1941 which is French and strongly Catholic I was told by a French playmate and I quote ” You English – You not Catholic – You go to Hell sure!”

    Michael.

  2. The power of fear is amazing. The damage that people do to each other by instilling “the fear of God” is just heartbreaking. Especially children! To me, telling children they’re going to hell is total abuse, but it is unfortunately part of that vicious cycle where this toxic stuff gets passed down from generation to generation. I guess it’s harder for me to relate personally as I was raised by a mother who loves me for who I am and always encouraged me to find my own path to the meaning of life. The “Conversations with God” series by Neale Donald Walsh that you are linking to on the right is what I would recommend to anyone who was raised with that catholic hammer of guilt over their heads. He really exposes the whole sin trip for the power trip that it is as good as anyone.

    • Thanks, Madison. You know, I don’t think we’re alone. I think there are many of us who have been through this. If the only thing we can change is this one thing, we will have made a difference in our world.

  3. Hello Pam:

    I have heard it said that we have only two choices in life. Love or fear. I equate fear with slavery or imprisonment of the ego by self imposed fear and Love with freedom and liberation from the ego and at the same time a maturity or healing of ego by Self or Soul imposed love.

    Take care and keep the faith or shall I say, love,
    Mike

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