Vail Valley perspective: The illusion of fear |

Vail Valley perspective: The illusion of fear

Catherine Zeeb
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado ” Our “best” moments seem transformational to us, don’t they, Vail Valley? They feel good and we tend to believe that the “good” times in life are what make us grow. Not so. These are only “best” moments, they are not the complete end to our growing and developing.

The good times are a blessing to our soul. These times make us laugh and make us smile, but usually don’t challenge us to look at who we are. Life is about laughing, smiling and feeling joyous, but the truth is that life can also be filled with “stuff” that doesn’t feel good. How many people have you known in your life that always seem happy but you can just tell that there’s something brewing underneath, that there’s more going on than they’re showing to the world?

What truly moves us forward are the difficult moments. These times make us take a look at who we are and how spiritually developed we are, or not. Difficult moments feel the worst but they truly are a sign of how much soul-work or spiritual work we are doing.

As a therapist interested in soul-work and spiritual development, it is imperative that I don’t take away, or fix, someone’s suffering or pain. Their suffering may be key to their true freedom. In suffering, we can become motivated to make changes. In suffering, we may discover things about ourselves that we wouldn’t see if we are always in a state of “good” times.

Our development depends on the length of time we spend in the suffering and spiritual work we do while in pain. If we get caught up in the suffering, we can stay in it for years. This can look like depression, sadness, discomfort, self-defeat or self-hate. It can be the not-so-subtle acts of negative thinking and judgment of self and others as well.

Are you tired of being afraid of life? Are you tired of fighting? Are you tired of feeling alone? These are the ways of fear. When we get really tired of the way we feel, tired of the way we are acting or tired of beating up on other people or ourselves, we begin to look for ways to get out of these conditions.

It is all about fear. It is fear that holds us back. It is fear which convinces us to hold onto old thoughts, old reactions and old ways of dealing with the world. Fear is a driving force. Fear can defeat you. Fear can make you stagnate. Fear can also make you grow. This is the illusion of fear.

When we talk about fear, we become afraid. Fear is not always about putting up your defenses to the world as much as it is about putting up your defenses to yourself. If we open ourselves up to the fact that we have fear ” fear of being better, fear of not being better, fear of liking ourselves, or fear of not liking ourselves ” we can grow.

Why is fear an illusion? It feels scary and evokes strong emotions even if we don’t realize that our reactions are coming from fear. This is fear’s illusion. If we see fear as a motivator instead of allowing it to stop us in our tracks, we can learn to grow from it. Look at your fear, name it, face it and remember that all is well ” it is all an illusion!

Catherine-Zeeb holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in Metaphysics. She has a private therapy practice in Edwards. You can visit her Web site at

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