“Fear is safe,” says Richard Rudd, author of Gene Keys.
However, this statement, coupled with saying “trust everything” makes me question whether he has ever experienced the true gift of fear or experienced real danger. These statements are quite the privileged perspective. The gift of fear is to keep us safe and is not achieved through denial. Some statistics:
- Every 15 seconds a woman in the US is assaulted or beaten; 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence at some point in their lifetime.
- Every 2 minutes, someone in the US is sexually assaulted.
- 73% of sexual assaults were perpetrated by a non-stranger.
- More than 50% of all rape/sexual assault incidents were reported by victims to have occurred within 1 mile of their home or at their home.
- Every 10 seconds a child is abused or raped; only 10% of abusers do not know their abuser well.
- Every 10 seconds, somewhere in the world a young girl is subjected to genital mutilation.
- Around the world, 1 in 3 women will be raped beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise be abused in her lifetime.
- This doesn’t even include non-domestic violence, workplace violence or murder.
Yes, unwarranted fear, from which many people suffer, is a lie. There is no real physical risk in the imagination run wild from the fear mongering of the mainstream media or the anxiety people get from watching too much prime time television news. In most instances, there is also no real physical danger from being afraid of what others think, which is possibly the biggest fear that occupies the majority of mental airwaves.
Yes, our privileged life in modern society has turned our minds, which are the most complex, impressive computers on earth, into our enemies fabricating stories into legendary tales that hold no merit with the perception of danger that does not exist.
Yet, many people in America suffer from an “it won’t happen to me” mentality, as if carried over from the invincible years of adolescence. Sadly, the statistics above speak otherwise. The fact is that most Americans will encounter violence of some form at some point in their lifetime. Denial can be deadly.
Physical fear, that primal animal fear that makes your hair stand up on the back of your neck, is all too real and is a true gift – it means that something has the potential to not be safe. In situations where there is actual physical danger, when fear is warranted, there is only complete and absolute presence, no thought, only action or inaction from an alert awareness of everything that is occurring in that moment.
Fear is an internal alarm system. Yes, there are far too many false alarms that go off, yet the answer is not that “fear is safe,” it is that the codes need to be reset and rewired, which is the intended purpose of the Gene Keys. On this one, I feel strongly that Rudd missed the mark.
Growing up in Detroit, often cited as the country’s most dangerous big city, and having witnessed great violence throughout my life growing up there, statements such as “fear is safe” is a luxurious sentiment one cannot afford. From the physical fights between my parents, getting jumped while going to the liquor store, the high speed car chase down 8-mile, talking a man with a Tec 9 pistol down from wanting to kill a neighborhood kid, or calling out my sister’s then boyfriend for being abusive (I’m still surprised and grateful he didn’t actually hit me), I can say in the moments of those experiences, there was no mental chatter. I see with clarity the gift of fear, real fear, not the privileged imaginary fear that occupies most people’s day, including my own at times. Yet I know the difference.
The young child who does not yet know the difference and by the very nature of their innocence wants to be trusting and believe, can too easily fall prey to the predators that are very real in our world. I was that young girl. The fact that I made it through my early life experiences without being beaten, raped or killed, makes me feel blessed by angels and very privileged. I feel privileged for the raw truth of my experiences, the glimpses of understanding that it has brought and the gift of my life.
I feel strongly that the statement, “fear is safe” breeds naivety and ignorance; having the potential to cause more harm than I’m sure is intended. Nevertheless, the price of naivety is paid by those who don’t live in “safe” environments, and as much as those of us who live in bubbles might want to think otherwise, unsafe environments do exist. No, we should not fall victim, and I am a wholehearted advocate of being a warrior standing with integrity against injustice, yet such a privileged statement as “fear is safe” increases susceptibility to falling prey to the many injustices of our world. The risk of not listening and receiving the true gift of fear is far too costly to be so careless.
For anyone who questions this, I highly recommend reading Gavin de Becker’s The Gift of Fear. I consider it essential reading for everyone, especially women and public figures. In this book, Gavin de Becker recants story after story, statistic after statistic, of life outside the bubble. The difference between life and death is listening to the presence of fear and following the wisdom of our intuition. Denial is deadly.
It is true that much fear is unwarranted mental chatter, fueled by sensationalized media and drama whores. Mental fear in this sense is a lie, often justifying our playing it safe and small. However even this lie, while it may be physically benign, is not safe. We live in a dangerous world and when we check out from that reality, we are lulled into a false sense of security that is costing us greatly. We need people to wake up to the very real risks we are facing on this planet as seen in the Philippines and in Japan right now…climate change and the futility of nuclear power…real physical dangers we are now facing as a global people, some more directly than others.
We need the world awake, aware and alert, not checked out in the illusion of safety. Our world is a dangerous place. We live on a planet where things eat other things, sometimes for fun. And we, the human race, are our own worst enemy.
Yes, we need to face that which we are afraid of, going into the deepest, darkest dungeons of our existence to mine for gold and diamonds, for that is indeed our truest, purest essence, and the path to becoming our own greatest allies. But no, saying “fear is safe” is not the way to get there. If you are living in a continual state of fear and false alarms, here’s a great article from beat the struggle to help inspire your courage.
It’s time we turn our minds, whose medicine is to receive data and process it (ideally under the direction of our spiritual wisdom), into our allies to keep us safe, to keep us moving forward in our evolutionary journeys, to keep us pulsing with the vitality of life through knowledge and expansion.
May you have the heart and courage to face your unwarranted fears, to turn your mind into your best ally, and always, always, trust yourself and your internal warning system alerting you to the presence of danger.
Please, read The Gift of Fear.