I have often heard it said that FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real.
I don’t accept this explanation of fear; sometimes there really are times when fear is based on solid evidence of danger. It can be a justified emotional response to something that can cause you harm. Telling someone that is being attacked or is caught in the middle of war that their fear is based on false evidence is absurd. So evidence, be it real or not, is not fear; our evidence creates fear.
Having said that, at times our evidence can be a false illusion.
What we believe to be true is based on a belief. Beliefs in turn are based on appearances or what other people have said and taught us, or what has happened in the past. We bring our beliefs to every situation that arises in our life. Beliefs can help to create the emotion of fear that is indeed ‘evidence appearing real’. Whether it is deemed false is all in the eye of the beholder.
To give an example: imagine someone who fears migrants ‘taking over the country’. This fear is an emotional response to what they believe could happen to themself, their way of life and their country if too many different people are let in.
We can live too much in what might happen in the future, creating the emotion of fear that could be a complete waste of time and energy. We can spend years worrying about the possibly of losing their job, the possibility of finding out their partner is unfaithful, the possibility of crashing your car. What a complete waste of time and thought energy. We get stuck living either in our bad past experience or horrible future scenarios…both can and do get brought to affect our present. It may never actually happen and if it does happen, well, we’ll just deal with it then, just in the same way we deal with everything that presents itself in your life. Surely we have better things to dream up and imagine!
Oh, and I’m not saying it’s not good to plan ahead for things that are inevitable or even possible, but that is very different from living in a space of fear. Fear rarely causes positive action, it usually just expends energy and leaves you tired and weak. Whereas forward thinking is motivating. You can make more rational decisions and wiser choices when you live this way.
There’s one more reason why being fearful of something that only appears real or may be real in the future…you can actually make it happen! Our lives have a very basic secret and that is that whatever we give our attention to, will be where our energy goes. If you spend your days imagining your partner in bed with someone else, your spending time away from being present and attentive and loving towards your partner. If you spend your days worrying about losing your job, your spending time and effort on nothing that can actually help you to keep the job. If you spend your time thinking about the possibility of crashing a car, you can program your mind to believe it so much you may actually drive fearfully and hesitate and make mistakes that actually do cause an accident.