We had a meeting in my community not too long ago where we talked about fear. Everyone was asked to talk about their fundamental fear in some way. What were they most afraid of? Different words came out: rejection, abandonment, not succeeding, failure, deterioration, death. When you look at all these kinds of fears the common denominator is being pushed down or being seen as valueless or nonexistent. Once we name the fear that is deep inside us, we can begin to identify the compulsion that protects us from being pushed down. We begin to see why we can become obsessed with having a name where we can be glorified, or achieving a position where we can be seen as worthy.
Jean Vanier, “Living Gently in a Violent World” p. 61