I like to sit quietly by myself.
Well, I say by myself, but actually our cat Pickle will often join me. She loves to sit on me and purr with gratitude for ‘our time’ together. I pretend to only tolerate her, but I actually adore her even though she triggers my asthma.
It was during one of our quiet moments that the title, ‘The Phantom we call fear’ dropped into my mind. Whenever I hear the word “phantom” in my mind I hear Sarah Brightman singing The Phantom of the Opera. There’s a line which says. “The Phantom of the Opera is there inside your mind”
What is a phantom?
Well if you research the word you will see that a phantom is something that is not real, a figment of the imagination and illusory.
There are basically 3 types of fear; fear of failure, fear of pain/death and fear of the now.
When we confess we dismantle all 3 Phantom Fears.
Firstly, when we confess we admit we have in some way failed, we made a mistake, a poor choice, a rash decision. We break the illusion that we are more than we really are. We get real with ourselves. In doing this we reveal that we are far from perfect. In fact we fail and we acknowledge that we do.
Secondly, we face the pain that potentially comes with a deep confession. Pain can be physical; an injection for example, or the emotional pain that comes with rejection or a broken heart. No one wants to feel pain, and we try to avoid it at all costs. But that’s the problem; it does cost. It costs time, it costs sleepless nights and it costs our health. Not facing up to something, not saying something costs us. When we confess something deeply troubling or deeply shameful we will feel a little pain. But holding onto our secrets causes us more pain over a much longer period of time, a lifetime in some sad cases. Pain passes, the fear of pain can remain till your deathbed if it’s not faced. When we confess we break the fear of pain because we have faced it head on.
Thirdly we acknowledge the present moment. It may seem strange to talk about a fear of now. If we break it down, however, we soon see that many people live through distractions. The past is a distraction, and so is the future. We call this horizontal living verses vertical living. When we look back it can often trigger feelings of regret. (“If only I had not gone out that night, my life might not be what it is now”) Or we focus on the future with all it’s uncertainty.
What happens is this; we are terrified so much about our present moment; our now, that we prefer to feel the regret of the past or the trepidation about the future more than facing the moment we call “ now”. When we choose to confess we do so only in the present moment. We take on the fear of now. Once we have done this not only have we broken through the 3 common fears, we are also liberated ourselves from any future torment. The future lies clearer before us, and the past is dealt with in a positive, life affirming way.
The phantom, we discover, was only a figment of our imagination, it was just an illusion, it was not real. We did not die from speaking our truth. What is real is a decision to confess backed by the courage to actually do it. This and this alone will break through our fears.
Towards the end of the song she sings the line, “The Phantom of the Opera is now your mastermind” I invite you to master your mind. Remove the phantom and face your illusion called “fear” It’s terrified of Truth. But as we know the Truth will set you free.
Wayne, The Confession Coach.