Grasping at air

Image: Terry Matthews

This is what fear feels like…

When we fear, we reach. Like that wayward shift of bodyweight on the iceskating rink — something has gone awry, and all of a sudden we realize there’s nothing solid to grab onto.


That one person who brings you the chills has abruptly reentered your life... 
Nothing to grab onto.

The eviction notice hits your front door faster than the paycheck...
Nothing to grab onto.

We were healthy yesterday, but today we’ve found ourselves in a hospital bed...
Nothing to grab onto.

Fear strikes because we’re looking for that solid support in the wrong place.

We’re in trouble and we need something to happen. Like, yesterday. But it’s not and no end is in sight and this will start a vicious chain reaction causing all sorts of horrible things to happen, and…


You’re grasping at the shifty world of form. Yes, your grip might occasionally, by chance, find something solid and stable to support your fall. But right now, it’s not there.

Redirect your gaze inside. Close your eyes.

Know you’re here. How many times have you been through this before (I’m guessing this isn’t your first rodeo)? And you’ve made it, alive and well-fed, for the most part, to here.

Feel the static fuzziness of life pulsing through your fingers. Feel the warmness of your heart. That’s a great sign.

Now, know that whatever step lies before you, you’ll take. Just like you always have. But this time you’ll have a shift in understanding on your side…

Place not your faith in the fears of the world, but in the sturdiness of your spirit.

Cause is from within. Effect is out there. Right now, we need to focus on the cause.

When we’re stuck in our own story of fear, tunnel vision kicks in and only allows us to see the hard ice at our feet before our nose hits it.

Look up. Have confidence in your line and the trajectory you’re on. Speed out of the turn.

Your ego wants to close down and constrict. 
Instead, open up, relax, and expand.

We must open up for more that life has to provide, in whatever ways it may show up.

There’s so much more going on than we’ll ever realize. There’s always so many more forces at play that our small brains can ever capture.

When fear kicks in, it’s easy to play from a low level. We have to raise our spirits up to meet the moment.

Now, get back up and show me that double axle/triple toe loop again.

[Jonas Ellison is a spiritual writer, teacher, practitioner, and an interfaith minister-in-training. He helps people transform their lives through applied spirituality while documenting his journey along the way. To subscribe to his weekly-ish updates and exclusive content, click here.]