Hanuman and the Grace of Fear
Updated: May 29, 2020
Let’s discuss a four lettered word, beginning with the letter F.
No, not that one… the OTHER “F-Word”…
Fear is a thief, stealing from us our very essence… paralyzing us from our innermost depths. I imagine it to be a dark cloud, seemingly innocent enough at first. After all, fear is a part of our human evolution, a key to our survival as a species. We’re still here because we learned to “fight, flight or freeze” (more F Words…); and these patterns, these ways of BEING, are ingrained in our limbic systems, or most primitive part of our brains. This is the center of our motivation, emotion, learning, and memory.
Memory. Oh yes… memories. Trauma. The twin sibling of Fear. The two go hand in hand. I’ve yet to meet anyone with major trauma who doesn’t also struggle with quantitative amounts of fear, often disguised as anxiety or non-commitment. We don’t dare allow anyone “in”… can’t possibly give ourselves fully to another, even ourselves. No one can see…
This fear becomes the catalyst for decisions, actions and emotions that often leave us feeling imprisoned to ourselves. We discover our way of Being, of showing up in life, as less than desirable… and are left spinning, seeking an exit route.
Some of us find it in temporary fixes… others find it in more permanent “solutions”, leaving our families and friends to pick up the pieces of a life cut short by pain… intolerable suffering caused by Fear; fear of ourselves, of memories, of the unknown… Fear.
Still, some of us will be lavishly graced with other pathways through the darkness, answering a Call and trusting that Great Unknown.
For me, this path has been Yoga.
My Practice has given me a Home within mySelf… feeling safe in my own body, in my home and in relationships. It has given me Breath and Stillness, even in moments when my world has, yet again, been turned any way but upright.
On the mat, I’ve been able to gently gather the splinters and shards of my broken heart; allowing them to be Divinely pieced back together, held in place by Love… forming a mosaic that is truly beautiful.
In moments of fear, I’ve learned to call upon the energy of Lord Hanuman. Hanuman is a Divine servant of Rama and Sita, together forming a High expression of the Divine Masculine and Feminine. It is Hanuman’s deepest desire to serve this incarnation of God; and he is known as a fearless warrior. In the Hanuman Chalisa, verse 22, it is said:
“Sheltered by you, one gains all delight,
protected by you, one fears no one”.
One of the things that I love MOST about Hanuman is that he forgets his own divinity. He forgets that he, too, is an incarnation of God. It is only when reminded by another that Hanuman remembers Who he truly is… a Divine Being, capable of overcoming any fear or obstacle that would dare cross his path.
I love this about him because I, too, forget my Divinity. I forget that I am much more than skin and bone… that I am the essence of the Divine. This same energy that created and lovingly guides the Universe and all of Her inhabitants resides in ME… and YOU. We are Divine.
The memories will continue to exist, along with their shadows of trauma and fear. At times, they will ooze the overwhelming poison that would seek to govern Who we are and how we exist…. And you know what? It’s ok… It’s ok because we can come back to our mats, even if only to curl up and cry. I’ve spent many moments in Balasana (Child’s Pose), sobbing and questioning everything about my existence. In these moments, I am ALWAYS gently guided back to my breath and back to the fearless warrior within. I am reminded of who I am, a Divine Being with a long and glorious road ahead of me. There is no "Waze" app to plan the trip that is my life… I will hit traffic and collisions and unforeseen conditions. This too, is ok. I am ok. I am more than ok… and so are you.
*Written 9-27-16... and relevant as ever today.