We have a choice
A friend was talking to me today about how he is looking for something he can be passionate about at this point in his life, and he was concerned that he wouldn’t find it. I replied that his concern was his passion and that his act of searching was something not to be judged in terms of whether he found or didn’t find, but rather his creative process which he could embrace along with his fear of not finding anything. The two can co-exist. The trick is allowing them to co-exist.
Imagine you are standing on the top of a double black diamond ski run. Are you scared? You bet. Do you ski down it? When you choose to do so, you are acknowledging your fear and your ability to co-exist with it. Your mind would have you believe that you have defeated your fear, over come it. Rather, your choice to acknowledge it and choose to ski down that slope with that fear, is your integrity; your sense of worth. ‘Who’ you are.
I find fear to be a very allusive thing. Often we don’t want to acknowledge it. We call it anger, or depression, (anger at ourselves for being powerless), or boredom, (a form of depression), or obsession, ( a grasping at control with the subconscious belief that what if we’re in control there will be no fear). Our minds/egos go to great lengths to deny the existence of fear for fear that fear will destroy us. Why? Because there is a real fear: that we have no control over our mortality. We have no power over the fact that we are going to die, (read: change). Actually, this is the only fear and it is an anathema to our mind which believes it should and has to be avoided at all costs.
‘The only thing to fear is fear itself,’ we tell ourselves. There is another reality.
When we can acknowledge this primal fear and the fact that there is nothing we can do to get rid of it, we then are given the opportunity to discover its purpose. Why is it in our lives? What did we do to deserve this? Have we been ‘bad?’ Are we being punished with this hellish feeling? Is there something we can take(food, drugs, alcohol) ? Someone who can make it go away, (Daddy, Mommy, religion, a lot of money, success, fame, power)? Is there a mantra, a prayer that we can say over and over?
If we are able to acknowledge the existence of our fear in all its subtle and not so subtle manifestations, and acknowledge that we are powerless to affect our mortality…if we are able to see that a part of us is scared, but just as with the ski run, that there’s another part of us that can choose to act, not in spite of our fear but in recognition of it,then from that same place of ‘knowing,’ we can honor our struggle as human beings, honor our courage and find compassion for ourselves in this seemingly irreconcilable predicament. We can find compassion for ourselves in our fear and by extension, compassion for others. We can find our hearts. We can find our capacity for love.
The purpose of our fear is to lead us to our hearts. It gives us the power to love. It’s what makes us human. It is not the anathema that our minds/egos and our conditioning would have us believe. It won’t kill us. It makes us stronger in our act of acknowledgment and our ‘knowing’ that we are all afraid, we all have courage, we all want love, we all are love.