Misguided By Medusa: How Facing Our Fears Dis-empowers Them (Not You)


We've all heard the Greek Mythology story of Medusa; the woman with hair of snakes whose alluring gaze turns everything to stone. But underneath the myth lies a much more compelling realization of what Medusa represents in our waking lives; unity. It might be hard to see at first (no pun intended), but Medusa embodies the femme fatale as well as the monster, beauty as well as the beast and she attracts as much as she repels. And this has always made me think of a particular emotion, one that can often just as easily trigger us to run and hide as much as it does to catapult us forward to take a leap of faith. What emotion am I talking about here? Well, fear of course.

I have always thought fear to be a double-edged sword of an emotion. If we sit with it long enough, it consumes us, becomes heavier with each passing second as it drags us down into such a low vibration that we can become paranoid, lethargic, self-conscious, and end up living our lives full of doubt, stress and anxiety. But on the other hand, who doesn’t love a good scary movie or perhaps the excitement of paragliding, and my personal favorite…falling in love. The latter can ultimately bring us joy by following through, and push us to try new things by feeding us a sense of encouragement, passion and purpose; but they are also pretty intimidating in and of themselves. So, what determines how we react to and view fear? It’s all a matter of perspective; how we choose to SEE it.

The lesson we can take from Medusa’s story is to avoid looking directly at the big scary monster, because if we do, she will literally stop us in our tracks for an eternity. We will be helpless victims of our own insatiable curiosity and misunderstood egos (which can actually be compasses of guiding light if we let them be). The ego is there to show us all the things within ourselves that need attention and healing. It’s only when we inflate them do our egos lead us to live the proverbial life of a stone figure stuck in our ways.

I think that we've all been a bit misguided by this lesson, because once we muster up the courage to stop running (either literally or simply in our own minds) and actually face our fears, we are taking the first vital step to dissolving their power over us. Fear instills a sense in us that our world is untrusting, unfriendly and threatening, but if we quiet the mind and the stories we tell ourselves, we just might see that the monster is not so frightening after all. And I think that is the best place to start…breathe; quiet the mind, and just LOOK! 🙂

Some helpful tips I use in my own life to face fear are:

  1. First, be kind to yourself. Don’t tell yourself that your fear is dumb or stupid or put yourself down for it. We are all a work in progress and the fact you are even willing to try and face your fear takes a lot of courage, so give yourself a pat on the back for it!
  1. List out particular things about a situation that are causing you feelings of fear or hesitation and see where they are coming from. What I call “warnings” from the gut or heart may actually be good fears trying to tell you to steer clear of danger, or negative situations that would not best serve you. As opposed to “mind fears” that are often drummed up by the subconscious and old programming, stemming from outdated beliefs that we are not good enough, not worthy, etc. Learn to discern! 🙂 If it seems to be an ongoing issue, it’s a great idea to keep a journal so you can go back and see how your thoughts and feelings have changed over time. I often find many solutions hidden in my own writing, and sometimes it is only a matter of fitting the pieces together to find the solution. Also, sometimes just the act of writing itself can be a great outlet and way to release stress and just get things out.
  1. Come up with a few ideas that you could try to get you closer to facing your fear. If you are afraid of spiders for instance, start watching shows on tarantulas, check out a few library books or watch videos on YouTube about spiders. Next, try going to a local pet store and look at spiders through the glass aquariums. Take note of how you are feeling, and the more conscious you are of your feelings when you are consciously facing your fears, you will bear witness to your own growth and success. And finally when you feel ready, ask a clerk to take one out so you can get a better look. If you feel ready, try to have the clerk place one in the palm of your hand.

Even if you never reach that final step, it is guaranteed that with all of this exposure, you will over time greatly reduce your fear of spiders (or any fear) simply by facing it head on, rather than giving it power, letting it control you and remaining reactive to it. Take small steps and push yourself forward to always do the next best thing, but not too hard and not too fast. Listen to your gut and your heart as they will always know what you are ready for, and let that be enough. Be kind to yourself throughout the process and you will come to find that once you face one fear, the next time you choose to consciously face another, you will be that much more prepared to do so, and this goes for all areas of our lives.

The key to keeping fear at bay is ultimately living in the present moment. One of the greatest lessons I've ever learned and keep close to my heart came from the following quote by the great philosopher and poet of ancient China, Lao Tzu:

“If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.”

If we allow our conscious mind to let go of the reigns and stop paying attention, even if only for a moment, then our subconscious minds take over. This is not superstition, but our ingrained biology. Our society has not taught us to use our conscious minds the way it was intended, and so we are conditioned to live in the subconscious mind of memories and habits. But once we become aware of this fact, we are free to develop our conscious awareness, which in itself reduces fear, as when one is at peace within oneself and environment, one cannot help but feel loved.



Tamara Rant is a Co-Editor of CLN as well as a Licensed Reiki Master, heart-centered Graphic Designer and a progressive voice in social media activism & awareness. Connect with Tamara on Facebook by visiting Prana Paws/Healing Hearts Reiki or go to RantDesignMedia.com

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  1. admin@consciouslifenews.com' clnews says:

    Awesome article, Tamara!!!! Thank you for this. For me, it’s a great reminder to live in the present moment. -Ross

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