Fear: The Ultimate Roadblock

In past issues of Living with Crystals there have been articles about anxiety and worrying. Continuing this theme, this month I write about fear.

In some ways fear is a more basic emotion than anxiety and worry, and it is one which is designed to help us survive. We see how this principle works with animals. Deer have learned to associate gunfire with danger, and when they hear this sound they run away. Mice connect cats to danger, and usually do their best to not become feline meals.

The difficulty we have as humans is that, unlike deer, mice, and other animals, we don't always correctly interpret what is dangerous and what is not. Fear is very helpful, for example, if one feels ill and doesn't think it would be safe to drive a car. However, refusing to drive over a bridge in the fear that it will collapse is a response to a threat which (usually) doesn't exist.

The latter kind of fear is often called a phobia. People can be afraid of heights, crowds, hypodermic needles, airplanes, and find themselves seemingly unable to reason their way out of terror. The threat they feel is invisible to others and all too real to them, and they do their best to protect themselves by avoiding being in a situation which will cause them to feel fear.

Somewhere between the useful fears and the phobias is something which can be called the fear of change.

I Want To--But

Some examples of this fear might be:

In general, wanting to try anything new and being afraid to do so is an example of this kind of fear.

This kind of fear is also designed to protect you. As much as we may find ourselves bored by our all-too-familiar lives there is tremendous safety in occupying a well-known physical or psychic space. There is little to surprise you, little to frighten you.

You know how to fight with and be annoyed with that other person in your relationship, and you have the additional benefit of complaining to other people about him/her.

You hate your job, but it's steady; you know everyone; you know what to expect; there's a pension to consider. Maybe you won't do as well at the new job. Maybe you'll get fired.

Moving is very, very scary, and you won't know anyone, and what if you don't like it there? What if there are bad things about this new location that you haven't heard about yet? What about all the friends you'll miss? And moving costs money.

It's Not a Question of Right or Wrong

I emphasize this, because I have known people who became so disgusted by their fear that they initiated big changes just for the sake of change. This is not always a wise choice„and it's not always a bad idea to protect yourself.

Whether you like what it's saying or not, fear is trying to tell you something. It is a feeling to be treated with respect. I find that it's best to work with it, not against it.

In practical terms this can mean to imagine that fear is asking you to take another look at the situation which is unsatisfying. Maybe you really don't want to leave that relationship, job, location. Sometimes you will find that you can make change within that situation without leaving it.

Is your relationship really hopeless? List what you don't like (find unbearable); then list what you would like to have happen. Are the communication lines completely down? If not, initiate conversations with your spouse or partner. (And see Love Talk, an article from Rainbow Reflections, for some ideas about restoring communication.)

You can follow a similar course of action if it's a job situation. What could make it better? Can you stay at it and study something else in your free time? Ask yourself searching questions about this.

If it's locational fatigue, again, decide what you don't like about where you are. This is a situation that I've actually been grappling with. Two decisions I made to help me deal with winter in the Catskill Mountains were to buy a car with all-wheel drive, as driving has been one of my least favorite winter activities, and getting a gas heater for my often-chilly office.

I believe that, even if you ultimately decide that drastic change is needed, you will feel more comfortable about it once you have fully explored alternatives.

You will also feel more comfortable if you take on the question of fear itself. When we learn to treat fear's messages as those of a friend who is committed to protect us, we find ourselves less likely to be paralyzed by this emotion. We learn to be objective and make wise choices.

And when we learn to dissolve the most limiting fears we discover a new freedom in our lives. We become able to appreciate life, to explore new avenues of creativity, and to realize that ultimately we are spiritual beings who have no need to fear anything in the physical world.


Charoite is the primary crystal for dealing with fear, both known and unknown. It not only helps to bring fear to the surface, but helps you to feel the courage and commitment to dissolve fear.

Amethyst is the traditional crystal recommended to children -- or adults -- who experience fear in the form of nightmares. It is also very helpful in relieving the stress and tension which may accompany fear.

It can be helpful to put amethyst and charoite beneath your pillow, especially if you find that fears surface in dreams. Charoite will enhance this surfacing, and amethyst will help to release the fears.

Clear Calcite helps us to appreciate that alternative ways of being and doing always exist. It also can help us to have an expanded awareness of our particular situations, especially regarding the challenges we've given up on.

The above stone can work very well with clear quartz, a stone we describe as "the mirror of the soul." Clear quartz can help to tell you who you really are. This knowledge can expand your ability to see new dimensions to a given situation.

Flower and Other Essences

Rabbit (Wild Earth Animal Essences) is the fear-caller in many Native American cultures. It is believed that this animal broadcasts its fear, thus alerting predators to its location. Rabbit thus teaches us that what we focus on is likely to come into our lives, and reminds us that when we focus on positive outcomes these, too, will be called to us.

Mimulus (Bach) and Aspen (Bach) are the two most prominent Bach Flower essences for fear. Mimulus is for known fear. If, for example, you spouse becomes an ex, you may fear being lonely, having to move, never again finding a partner. Aspen relates to unknown fears, all the bad things you don't know about yet, but suspect will happen.

When you fear decision-making because you don't trust yourself to make the best choice Larch (Bach) can help. This flower essence helps to increase self-esteem.

Essential Oils

Lavender is an essential oil for profound relaxation. On a physical level it is believed to help relieve tension and headaches. On the emotional/spiritual level it helps us to integrate our spiritual and physical selves, thus opening the way for us to become more objective about fears. It also helps to clear the air of fear's energy.

Chamomile is also a very relaxing and calming oil. It can have a particular effect in soothing the physical effects of fear.

I include Juniper in this list because it can be helpful for fears which involve other people, such as being in a crowded place, riding the subway at rush hour, or fears of specific people. Juniper is generally considered to be a protective oil which can also be used in the bath to rid one of unwanted energies.

Bach and Other Flower Essences
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