Inner Treasure Resides Within the Depths of Your Fears.
“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” ~ Joseph Campbell
What if that which you fear the most actually contains the treasure that you’ve been looking for your entire life?
Joseph Campbell spoke about the treasure in the cave as a part of the Hero’s journey. The treasure comes in whatever form the polarity of our fear is.
If we believe we need to be strong, maybe the treasure is softness. If we believe we need to be brave, maybe it’s vulnerability.
Treasure comes in many surprising forms, but in order to claim it, we have to be willing to confront unresolved aspects of ourselves — those things that make us uncomfortable, our perceived weaknesses, and the parts of ourselves that we’re not proud of.
We must bravely enter into the darkness and the shadows of our innermost realms if we ever want to reach the light of the treasure.
When you enter the cave and face your fears, you can access vibrational transformation, the conduit of vibrational expansion. When you courageously give your awareness to aspects of yourself that have become deeply suppressed or repressed in your subconscious, you create a pathway for the release of the underlying emotional density, the dragon which holds the unconscious pattern or program in place.
You can then return to where you first started your journey as a transformed individual. This is the process of the Hero’s journey, and as uncomfortable as it may be, it’s the path we all must walk if we want to be the hero of our own lives.
Identifying the Treasure
It’s second nature to rely on our strengths and ignore our weaknesses. We’re afraid to bring attention to our shortcomings. We’re afraid to face them because we don’t want to fail, look silly or be judged as inadequate. Our harshest critic is the reflection looking back in the mirror.
Our perceived weaknesses, and the accompanying gut-wrenching fear of showing them, are the cave that holds the treasure, because facing the parts of ourselves that feel weak helps us grow, and helps us discover another layer of self.
If you feel like your communication skills are lacking, it’s common to hide from situations which would require those skills. But what if your dream is to start a company? You’ll need those skills. The networking event with the big players appears to be a terrifying cave with one hell of a vicious dragon lurking inside, but it’s the key to making your dream come to life.
Overcoming self-imposed limitations takes courage. It takes an acknowledgment that nobody’s good at everything, but we’ve still got to try.
If you’re afraid of asking that woman at the coffee shop on a date because you lack confidence, yet you dream of a deeply intimate and authentic relationship, finding the courage to do what needs to be done holds the key to unearthing the potential treasure of intimacy.
Remember, all of the treasure that you’re seeking is within you, just on the other side of your fear. This degree of self-awareness empowers you to shift your energy and start to embody the courage necessary to uncover the hidden gems within.
How Fear Can Teach You Strength
The more I’m willing to confront my fears and bring them into the light of my awareness, the more access I have to my inner treasure.
Your fears are illusions created by your mind. With that truth, you can push past the fear and break through the illusion. You’ll find that each time you do this, you feel more heroic.
Cultivating a profound level of honesty with yourself will allow you to exponentially grow in self-awareness.
They say that the truth will set you free. Being honest with yourself is difficult, but there are mirrors all around to help you. Fear hides beneath our triggers. When I’m triggered, and a wave of emotion is unleashed, I’m given the opportunity to face them head-on.
So when someone does or says something that creates a strong reaction within you, look closely. Examine within you where that reaction is coming from. You’ll discover through inner observation that what’s being reflected is something that you dislike within yourself.
As you work through the world in this way, you grow in empowerment, relying upon the Universe to provide unending opportunities to look deeper at the truth of who you are.
This inner journey allows you travel to the root of your fears and subconscious beliefs. You will see that they’re possible to work through, and that they can be overcome merely by becoming conscious of them.
Disarm the Dragon
In the Hero’s Journey, there’s this idea that you have to slay the dragon if you want to get the treasure. But that’s not the whole story.
The truth of the dragon is that it can’t be slayed.
You’ll never forget the past. You won’t forget how much it hurt or how afraid you were or how hopeless you felt. These are the roots of your current fears. But you can pull those roots out of the ground; you can disarm the dragon and take its fire as your own.
It’s possible to create a situation within yourself where that painful event no longer holds power over you. It’s not that it’s erased from your memory bank; it’s merely that you’ve done the inner work necessary to be able to look the dragon in the eye without worrying that it’s going to incinerate you.
The problem people encounter is that they create dragons where there aren’t any.
You assume that because something happened in the past, it’s going to happen again and again and again. The creation of imaginary dragons is like a pair of invisible shackles.
You create a false perception of your reality, and this in itself becomes a dragon.
You choose to see yourself in a rigid way, defining your being as rich or poor, pretty or ugly, charming or antisocial, and you create dragons out of these labels as well. The truth of your essential nature is that you are beyond every label; you are not the dragon’s slave, you are its master.
To break through self-imposed limitations, you must find the strength to see where you’re holding yourself back. Where do you want to be? How can you melt away your belief structures to get there?
I can’t answer these questions for you, but I know that if you get honest with yourself and do the inner work, you will find the treasure you seek.
This deeply personal adventure requires courage and truth. The more you evolve, the higher you go, and the more ruthlessly honest you have to be with yourself about your experience.
Courage isn’t stagnant, it’s ever-shifting and expanding. With each new challenge, you’ll find yourself in need of a stronger and more expansive batch of courage born of your ability to embrace every dragon you meet along the Hero’s journey.
Panache Desai is a contemporary spiritual teacher and inspirational visionary, whose gift of vibrational transformation has drawn thousands of people from around the world. A highly sought-after speaker featured regularly in print, online, and broadcast media, Panache recently appeared with Oprah Winfrey on the Emmy Award-winning series Super Soul Sunday and on the OWN network series, Help Desk. He is considered a top-tier faculty member at Omega Institute, and is a featured speaker at Healing with the Masters, the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, I Can Do It!, and Celebrate Your Life. Click here to access a free meditation and introductory video from Panache that will help you let go and live fully.