Breaking the Pattern of Fear-Based Response
As we become more aware of our inner nature, we start reflecting on our patterns of behavior and programming that seemingly run on autopilot. These unconscious patterns of belief and programmed reactions can be triggered multiple times throughout our day. As a result, we repeat habitual emotional responses to certain situations or thoughts we encounter. Basically, this is when we are having bullshit thoughts that want to keep us bound to our fears and react poorly to triggering experiences around us. Most of the time, we have no idea that we are even bound! That’s where the importance of self-reflection comes in. However, most people are not committed to any sort of self-reflection. But if you ARE someone who is dedicated to your healing path, you will be asked to heal these wounded parts of you.
Uncovering our fear-based patterns is how we liberate ourselves fully from the residual effects of our past trauma.
Unconscious living, just going through the motions instead of living in self-awareness, opens us up to react to situations that trigger us with an overly emotional fear-based response. This can lead us to ruin good relationships, reaffirm feelings of low self-worth, or hurt the ones we love the most as we act out our trauma in unhealthy ways.
Fear is the underlying core issue of all suffering, but we can break free from fear by understanding more about why we respond and react the way we do.
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” – Viktor Frankle
We have all experienced some type of emotional trauma or abuse that gets buried deep inside our psyche and helps form our inner worldview. It becomes a part of our personality and defines us in some deep way that we’re often unaware of at the conscious level.
Growing up is not easy, and we are subjected at birth to our cultural, political, religious, socioeconomic, and family influences that also shape how we feel about the world around us. We learn to mask our true nature and develop unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with the trauma and abuse we face so that we can simply survive. We may even harm ourselves or others due to these unhealed wounds we still carry.
When we live in an abusive environment, we are forced into an almost constant state of fear which causes the brain to become trained to respond in a certain way. You learn how to cope and find a new normal just to survive, trying to protect yourself or your loved ones from the abuser as best you can.
During this time, your brain creates strong neural pathways that condition an automatic response whenever you feel fear. So maybe you withdraw, have anxiety attacks, get depressed, or even become angry and violent anytime you feel resonance with those familiar fears. The key takeaway is that you WILL have a pre-programmed response, even if you have left the toxic environment and are now safe.
Just because you found the courage to leave doesn’t mean those fear-based responses go away! Unfortunately, even after being out of the abusive environment, we will still see ourselves reacting to fear-based thoughts and perceived threats from those ingrained habitual neural pathways. If we are not mindful, those automatic reactions can easily pull us back into the spiral of anxiety, panic, depression, and addiction. Keeping us trapped and bound to our old pain.
If abuse has been a common theme in your life since childhood, you may drift from relationship to relationship, seeking someone to love you and end up being with another abusive partner (I did this 3 times!). We can find ourselves continually attracting relationships and situations that continue this abusive pattern, repeating over and over again with seemingly no end in sight – different people and faces, but the same patterns of abuse playing out.
While this certainly seems unjust, it is simply a vibrational response to where your personal resonance resides. Growing up in an abusive environment, you were tuned to the vibration of fear from an early age. If that setpoint is not shifted, you will continue to attract similar vibrational matches that reinforce your traumas, completely unaware of where it is coming from.
Our entire world is held captive by the dominant frequencies of fear, which permeates everything in our physical world. Therefore, shifting higher up the vibrational scale toward Love takes effort and determination.
Like attracts like, as they say, especially when dealing at the quantum level of our bio-electromagnetic fields and the vibrational Universe we live in. On the surface level, we know we don’t want to be in another abusive environment. Yet, we continue to vibrate with fear at the energetic level, which keeps us locked into a cycle of trauma (attracting the same types of situations) until we learn how to reprogram and rewire our brain. This is achieved by learning to raise our personal vibrational set-point out of fear and into Love.
Recognizing these patterns that no longer serve us is a giant step forward along our path of transformative healing. Scientists have discovered that we actually have control over our biology! New studies in neuroplasticity have revealed we can form new neural pathways and rewire our brains to react differently to external or internal stimuli – even with firmly ingrained fear-based responses.
How Do I Raise My Vibration?
Practicing mindfulness in whatever modality you choose (meditation/yoga/journaling/etc.) will help you become more self-aware. In turn, being more aware of yourself will allow you to catch fear-based thought patterns before they start spiraling out of control and trigger your habitual emotional response.
It can help to take a few breaths after being triggered and ask yourself, ‘Why am I being triggered right now?’ or ‘What am I thinking about right now?’ This can immediately shed light on where your thoughts are, allowing you to choose a different emotional response.
Don’t worry if you don’t catch it right away. It takes practice and dedication to reprogram your brain to react differently when you are triggered. If you experienced years of abuse, you have very defined neural pathways that are your go-to response for fear-based thoughts, and you will need to love yourself through this process.
Before going to bed, take a moment and reflect on your day.
- Were there times you were triggered today?
- Did you experience any fear-based thoughts?
- Did you react poorly to any situation?
If so, contemplate and then journal your reactions and decide whether or not it was old programming that resurfaced or if you chose a new and healthier response. This time of self-reflection is essential to your overall growth.
Be kind to yourself and forgive your mistakes and unconscious responses. You have been through a lot, and it’s totally normal for your brain to behave this way. Just the act of creating self-awareness around what triggers you will help you overcome them in time.
We are often quick to forgive others we love but usually do not extend that same compassion and love to ourselves. This is a mistake! Loving yourself when you mess up is crucial to set yourself free from the past trauma in your life.
Over time, you will find that it gets easier and easier to respond with self-love and that you can easily catch those fear-based thoughts before you act out habitual emotional responses.
There is hope after leaving abusive environments; you can choose a different path besides repeating the same cycle. It’s important to find the lessons of what you have experienced and make a conscious choice to GROW from all that you have faced and overcome.
You are a powerful, Divine being, and learning to love yourself first will create a new vibrational set-point in your personal energy field. Take it one day at a time – or even one breath at a time and eventually you will cultivate a new vibration of Love that will attract good, loving experiences and relationships into your life.
You MUST love yourself first, and that takes time and patience to work through the darkness of your past trauma, but if you are willing to put in the self-work, the rewards are immense!
You are worthy of love.
You are worthy of forgiveness.
You are worthy of respect.
You are worthy of happiness.
Choose Love as your guiding force and take back control of your life, so you can FULLY embrace the future on your journey of self-transformation.