Here’s a bit from God of Surprises by Gerard W. Hughes that I have found helpful recently
Face the fears that haunt you
In Jungian language, ‘Face your shadow.’ Fear, like guilt, is a healthy human reaction to danger which is threatening. If we refuse to face the fear, the fear may become a ruthless tyrant pervading and poisoning every aspect of our lives. Once faced, the fears often turn out to be illusory, a truth vividly illustrated in a dream which someone shared with me while I was giving him the Spiritual Exercises. I shall call the dreamer ‘Tom’.
It began as a nightmare. Tom was in a dark jungle, alone and unarmed, but there were threatening figures lurking in the shadows. He knew that the locality was called ‘Recife’, although at the time of the dream he had no idea where ‘Recife’, was. As he could not defend himself, he decided to try and befriend the threatening figures, some of whom vanished, while others proved friendly and protected him fro the rest of his journey. Later, reflecting on the dream, he saw the pun on the word ‘Recife’, which was saying to him, ‘”Receive” those things in your life of which you are afraid and befriend them.’ He began to look at some of the fears in his life and discovered that some vanished, while others turned out to be sources of strength. One of the most constant refrains in the Old Testament and in the New is ‘Do not be afraid’. God, in Christ, has overcome all the powers of evil and destruction. God is the God of surprises who can turn even the evil we have done, and the evil done to us, into the very means of our salvation. The Church at Easter sings a beautiful poem which begins with the Latin word ‘Exsultet’, meaning ‘Rejoice’, and includes the phrase, ‘O felix culpa’, meaning ‘O happy fault’, and goes on to give the reason, ‘O necessary sin of Adam, which gained for us so great a Redeemer’.
A very good way of facing our fears is to reveal them to someone we can trust who will listen and will accept us as we are. Having put the fear into words and given it a name, it no longer has such power over us…