One way to begin a different relationship with anger is with listening--the kind of listening that is deeply imbedded in curiosity. Curiosity can then become an antidote to fear. Curiosity is simply a strong desire to know or learn something. Bringing this sense to the emotional landscape can make space for a beginner’s mind, which is a way of looking at things with a fresh perspective. It is letting go of things you think you know to discover what is happening in the present moment.
When you invite that which that scares you closer through listening, you can examine it more thoroughly by perusing its contents. And then there is the experience of fear itself: you can bring your full attention to that as well. You may discover a racing heart, sweat under our arms, or a pit in your stomach. Underneath that, you might hear thoughts of inadequacy, abandonment, or grief. All this could be present and more. Maybe the idea of calling this all toward yourself sounds ludicrous or way to too painful. But maybe not.
Perhaps in curiosity, you discover emotional abandonment by a parent, and it still stings. But what is there to fear about it? Is the parent even still alive? Do you fear it will happen again? Or that you will abandon? When you use curiosity as the tool of deconstruction, it allows you to be with what is, rather that what could be. When you are present to what is, you are doing something differently, and shaking up the old paradigm that caused the fear in the first place. Worrying is planning for what you do not want to happen. Fear can transmute into something else as curiosity allows you to find out what that is.
Appreciating aspects of yourself starts with attention to yourself. Attention begins with curiosity. You can choose to ground in curiosity rather than judgment and fear. When you make that shift, possibilities emerge that have been hidden from sight. In the face of attention and curiosity, fear can show its wounds as well as its wisdom. Because you are slowing down enough to get to know it, it has time to blossom within you.
It may sound strange to say that fear can blossom and give information and insight, but in reality, that is exactly what all emotions are capable of doing. Fear is just another emotion on the palette and can extend the knowledge of yourself. As you greet and get to know emotions when they surface, you can more fully and more consciously decide what do with them. And in curiosity, you may even be pleasantly surprised.