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Fabián Salazar Guerrero. Theologian. Director INTERFE Foundation. Colombia.

Life gives us beautiful opportunities to review our own existence and realize that we are living half-heartedly; that we are no longer the dream we had of ourselves and that time goes by without us, becoming truly full and happy. By reviewing ourselves internally and asking the reason for these situations, we discover progressively that the source of many of our pains, frustrations and failures lies in the fear of not being loved, valued, recognized, accepted, accompanied or understood.

There are hidden fears, some sowned since childhood. Little by little, the heart is getting sick and, in a silent way they fill it with pain, resentment, anger and disappointment. Many suffer secretly for fear of expressing their vulnerability and hide behind protective walls or behind fragile masks of painted smiles.

Fear leads us to live a sort of existential contradictions:

*   We seek happiness and instead we content ourselves with small moments of said happiness.

*   We want to be loved and on the other hand we allow ourselves to be caught in the manipulation, the crumbs of affection and isolation for fear of pain.

*  We aspire to have a healthy life and meanwhile we allow many people or situations intoxicate our body, mind and heart.

*  We want prosperity and at the same time we are heading towards a deep affective, relational and imagination poverty.

*  We want a life with meaning and we do the opposite by undervaluing our potential to love, feel and enjoy.

*  We long for the presence of God in our existence and change it for useless material idols to feel “safe” and “protected”.

It is then that life, if we want to continue advancing, asks us if we honestly want to leave our fears or if we prefer to hide them, deny them or justify them. Some of the following recommendations could be useful to live without fear of fear:

Sit down to talk with fear. Fears, when they have no form, become enemies that hide in the shadows; that attack at the least expected moment and are experts in sabotaging our best plans to be happy. It is time then to give them a way, invite them to an appointment and meet honestly to talk.

By visualizing them, we can express all the pain that we feel. All the contained anger and frustration that they cause us. But the most important thing is that we can give them a voice to explain why they are in our lives. After a dialogue in which is spoken and listened, the deepest tears or the most fierce angries may emerge. With this, we will achieve a deep relief and the discovery that each fear, in fact, have been created by ourselves, and we can also give ourselves the permission to leave them behind with deep serenity.

To forgive ourselves. Many of the fears have been feeded by our feelings of guilt, of affective manipulation, by an esteem hurt by hardness or self-punishment or by not having set limits in time to situations or people who harm us. The only way to  overcome fear by a real way is Love, a love that begins by itself. Forgiveness is the force that makes transit to self-love possible and reminds us that the first thing we need is to recognize, respect, consent, celebrate, accept and heal us. If there is much love and forgiveness, fear will have no place to make its nest and the main thing we have to take into account: we will not allow others to use us, subject us, threaten us or violate us. Each one of us can, wants, deserves and is able to be truly happy.

Search the family. The family is what makes us really human beings. Some families are of blood and others are composed of deep bonds of friendship. That nucleus is the one that protects us from fears and helps us to remain safe for life; If we disconnect, the same thing happens as a hunter who is left alone and exposes himself to more risks. It is true that in families there are problems, discussions, misunderstandings but the family is the family and it is necessary to return to it. It helps that the family gather and separate spaces where you can authentically dialogue, where members ask for forgiveness, where members express their weaknesses, where they find comfort, where they share dreams and above all remember that together they are stronger. And the most beautiful thing is that the family is the place for tenderness, caress, long hugs, warm kisses and cuddling next to each other.

Trust and Jump in faith. Many of the fears are in our mind and never come true. The uncertainty about the “what will happen”, the fear of the terrible possible moments that we imagine, the anguish produced by emptiness or doubt; the fear caused by what we think will hurt us, paralyzes us and steals our energy, time , money and health. Sometimes we just have to give ourselves the opportunity to jump to new possibilities, trust that others will support us, recognize that we have wings to fly and that God and his angels accompany us. Fear flee in terror if we make courageous decisions and believe in ourselves, in our strength and in that we are blessed.

Open your hands. Many times out of fear, we catch the first thing that crosses the road, be it a job, a person, an idea, a promise or a cause, whatever we think helps “survive”, that conceals our helplessness that avoid us loneliness or cover our emotional nudity. And by clinging to what is no longer useless, we are losing all the abundance of beautiful experiences around us. It is time to open our hands, breathe deeply and ask God to fill us with his abundance of love, well-being and prosperity, then to breathe full of gratitude, to come down to earth to receive and share with generosity.

Accept our body Many of the fears are stayed in fears born about our body. Some have to do with the fear of survival, others with illness or old age, and many more related to the fear of acceptance that others can make of our physical form. Fear feeds its strength from our insecurities, from fear of judgment, from comparisons with others, from the anxiety of not meeting artificial standards of beauty and so many phrases that we have believed or invented about ourselves.

It’s time to see ourselves in the mirror, get undressed of so many complexes and look at each part of the body with acceptance, surprise and gratitude. It is time to take off our clothes of fear, of what people will say and of “I must be”. It is time to leave the world proud of who we are, to enjoy with our body the joy, the dance, the sensations, the encounter with others, the liberating intimacy, of being attractive and aware that whoever loves us will truly love us as we are.

Plant a new seed. Just as fear feeds on the bad experiences of the past it is also filled with the stress of the future. If we do not want to be afraid for the fruits of the future, let us begin today to plant the renewed seeds of friendship, self-love, of good decisions, of healthy relationships, of health, of self-care, of renunciations, of trust, of gratitude that fill Flowers the garden of life and remove the weeds from fears. All this is a decision that only everyone can make.


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El teólogo Fabián Salazar Guerrero, ha dedicado gran parte de su vida al estudio de diversas denominaciones religiosas, visitando varios países y compartiendo enseñanzas con líderes de diferentes tradiciones espirituales. Su labor como consultor, junto a su reconocida trayectoria como investigador y profesor Universitario de Teología, le ha permitido acompañar procesos de integración interconfesional y reconciliación. Actualmente dirige la fundación para el diálogo y la cooperación Intereligiosa INTERFE y se desempeña profesionalmente como consejero espiritual personal y empresarial.

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