When I was little, I was horrified of clowns. Truthfully they still unsettle me a little bit.
I don’t know how or when it started, but when I think about it anything that falls into the “adult dressed as giant cartoon character” genre put me off.
The funny thing was I had this belief that if I had a clown, and took very good care of it, somehow I would be protected by the evil of all clowns.
So, I would go above and beyond the call of niceness to my clown doll even over other stuffed animals even though I was horrified by its unsettling smile. I would overcome my fear, by embracing it and trying to love it as a part of me.
As an adult I look back and laugh at the rationale of my five-year-old mind. And at the same time, I can find a thread of yogic wisdom in my childhood mentality.
As adults, we become conditioned by life to repel situations that make us uncomfortable or create anxiety. As a child I not only embraced the notion of letting go of aversion, I surmounted it by holding my single largest fear closest to me; looking it squarely in the creepy face each night.
And while my motivation was more self-serving at first, (to avoid the wrath of all clowns by befriending one) I had eventually desensitized myself to the physical sensation and reactions of my clown-based fear. And Clarabelle became nothing more than another doll.
We can do this as adults too. We can look our fears right in the eye, realize that it’s our mind telling us to be afraid, accept the object for what it is, and create space around that fear. Not space like a buffer to protect us, but the space that allows us to realize our fear is separate from ourselves.
Replace your fear with curiosity.
– Your Charmed Yogi