One way of dealing with fear is to take its perspective on our lives. This is as incredibly powerful as it is simple. Notice what permissions for healing, life balancing, and transformation accompany such a change in perspective for Terry.
While associating a color with an emotion, filling the room with that color, and then watching it congeal and condense into a form to interview has the advantage of creating a concrete personification that aids role identification, it is not essential. A good subject can become the feeling or issue itself. This is an example of such an interview.
Fear, do you enjoy scaring Terry?
Fear: “No. I don’t know why he gets so scared. A little fear is healthy but not HIS degree of fear! It’s way too much!”
Why does Terry over-react to you, fear?
Fear: “He’s so scared of dying, losing control, and not knowing what the universe is about. I think it’s stupid! It’s senseless! It doesn’t change anything! He should better enjoy his life! I do! I know who I am and where I am going to be. I will always be there. There will always be fear!”
What does it feel like to not be afraid, fear?
Fear: “It feels good! When Terry isn’t thinking about me I’m on vacation! I am pissed when he gets scared and calls me because he’s interrupting my vacation! When I’m on vacation I laugh, I lie on the grass in the sun. Just hang out. When people call me it’s always so stressful. When I have a day off I try to relax and calm down. I have a hard job. I’d rather hang out all the time. I get a lot of false alarms, especially in the richer countries.”
I bet that’s a real pisser to have someone get all anxious because their blouse doesn’t match their pants.
Fear: “Here I am, lying in the grass with a pina colada, and I have to go to work for that shit!”
What if you went on strike?
Fear: “I would be a disgrace to my profession! I haven’t tried it because I have to be reliable. I take my job very seriously. It’s always exciting, even if it’s a false alarm. I would tell him not to call me all the time! He’s calling me to rescue him, but then I have to play the persecutor! The question is, “Who is rescuing me from Terry??? Now I’m the victim!!!!”
If Terry looked at his fear all the time, what difference would it make?
Fear: “Terry should feel guilty for disturbing my vacation all the time!”
When Terry looks at the sky and freaks out, how do you make him scared?
Fear: “I sit in his stomach and blow bubbles. I make him feel insecure and losing control, but under the surface. This is all very scary to Terry! He doesn’t know what’s going on in the universe! And I don’t care!!!!”
The next time Terry gets scared, what do you think he could do differently?
Fear: “He should talk to me, his fear. Say, “Sorry for calling you and inconveniencing you! I’ll try to do better next time! No more false alarms!”
Terry: “I am pissed that the fear comes and it is pissed that it has to come to me!”
What did you hear yourself say?
“I learned that the fear is nothing to be scared of and it would be happier if I didn’t call it for so many false alarms. The next time I think I need to feel scared I need to talk to the fear and say “sorry.” If I do the fear will go away.”
“When I have a long flight the fear that the fear will come is the worst. But if the fear is a funny guy that doesn’t want to come off vacation, there is no reason to be afraid of the fear!”
What do you think? How can you apply Terry’s interview in your own life? If you interview your own anxiety, fear, or stress, let us know what you discover!