Something About Fear


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I’ve noticed something very curious about fear, both in general and as it relates to writing.  It’s always there, I’m just very good at trying to look the other way.  And we all know how well that works.  It doesn’t.  Every time I sit down to write, there is  fear that starts fluttering away in my chest.  An internal dialogue starts, always self-depreciating.  Ironically, I don’t experience this when I write a post on Facebook; a place of complete exposure.  But when the fear comes, I will not write.  Anything.  I just click that little red “x” in the upper right hand corner of the empty page with the proclamation “I can’t do it,” and busy myself in something else.

At first I thought it wise to figure out the “why” but I remembered that even if I do figure out why, I just end up constructing a mental fiction about it, filled with drama and intrigue, and it just compounds and completely defeats the purpose.  So no scrutinizing whys.

I’ve managed to make friends with my other arch rival, pain, why not this unfounded and irrational fear?  So, I invited fear to come and sit awhile.  Like pain, it too came quietly.  It sat very still, not the jittery, sweaty thing I had imagined it to be.  When I looked into its eyes I didn’t see quivering terror.  I saw a luminous softness, and somewhere behind the softness there was longing.  And in the quietest of voices, barely above a whisper, it explained its loneliness.  With a childlike innocence so tender and fragile, it was feeling very isolated.  Separated.  It longed for union and that union had to begin with my acceptance of its existence.  Another dear old friend just needing a loving embrace.  Another one I had forsaken.  Stupid me.  Coward to the bone.

But fear, when you invite it without resistance or definition, is such a tender thing.  An infant, all pink and soft and helpless, wanting to be nurtured, to be accepted, to be whole.  But this wholeness it longs for is not with the outside world or anything material or with anyone else.  It has awakened into the cold light of an illusory world and has become lost in the gaudiness, mesmerized by the din, believing its fairy tales and its horror stories.  It’s utterly confused.

So, I took its wee hand and patted it.  A comforted understanding bloomed and it simply faded away.  All that remained was a grateful and radiant smile.

 

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Surrender to Pain to Be Free


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You have to experience the pain.  Fully and completely.  If you want to be liberated, if you want to be free of suffering, if you want to be awakened, self-realized, you must be courageous enough and willing enough to experience all of the pain and fear you harbor within you. You must surrender.

If you can be brave enough to take just a small step forward into that dark abyss of shadows you’ll find something unexpected.  You won’t perish.  With each step forward the shadows will abate with you.

The reason for this is startlingly simple.  Each shadow of fear and pain you surrender to is nothing more than an illusion.  The pain and fear are nothing but artefacts of stories you’ve been telling yourself your whole life.  These are stories of who you think you are, who you think others are, things that happen to you or to others, or things you think will happen.  None of them have any basis in Reality.  They are purely subjective.  Even who you perceive yourself to be is nothing more than a tall tale.

Some of these tales can be so time-worn and so lavish they appear quite real, but they’re not.  Just as Alice and Wonderland and A Tale of Two Cities are such beautifully crafted works they seem to swallow you into another world that appears quite real, they are still just stories.  Creations of an author but, even more importantly, they are creations of the reader.

Who is the reader of your own tales?  I’m sure you can feel it there, reading every word of your sagas.  If you sit with this reader for even a moment, experience it, you’ll discover that nothing has ever affected it.  Not your emotions, not your thoughts, not your pain, not your fears.  It simply sees the stories you create.  A curious discovery, is it not?

As you walk ever farther into the darkness you fear with this new knowledge, the painful fear fades away because these things, these stories are not who you are.  The one who sees, the one who reads these epic tales, is your true self.  Pain has never touched you and fear is what has kept you from realizing it.  Who you are is unborn and cannot perish.  It was experienced when you took your first breath and will be until you take your last in this body.  And it will remain ever after.  It can’t be stained by the experiences of life.  It is always pure.

Get to know this You that you haven’t met before.  Hold it high before you like a torch as you progress through the abyss of all the pain and fear you’ve repressed and avoided.  These are only whispers of a past that never really existed.  The deeper you go, the brighter this torch will burn.  It will burn away this dark clutter, and as it does, nothing but space remains.  And this space is infinite.  It’s not empty.  Rather it’s thriving and teaming with life force.  The pain will be consumed by it until nothing remains but blissful, effortless and expansive peace.  Your heart, now unfettered with illusions, will throw its doors open to all life has to offer.  Instead of fear, you will move through your life driven by a love so effortless and fearless nothing will ever hurt you again.

But you have to be willing to surrender, and surrender totally, even if it’s just one small step at a time.

 

The Illumination of Fear


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Fear is the total illumination of the *I* or echoic self.  Fear is the reaction of its nakedness and its frailty.  Fear is the moment the *I* is fully disclosed.  Find the presence to realize it, in that moment, and the *I* becomes as false as the fear.  Both are not actualities, both are created by nothing more fictitious than thoughts.  Turn to that which observes the fear, the nakedness of the *I*, and they dissolve.  When that happens, you are free to live life fully.