I AM FEAR
I am the menace that lurks in the paths of life, never
visible to the eye but sharply felt in the heart. I am the father of
despair, the brother of procrastination, the enemy of progress, the tool of tyranny.
Born of ignorance and nursed on misguided thought, I have darkened more hopes, stifled more ambitions, shattered more ideas and prevented more accomplishments than history could record.
Like the changing chameleon, I assume many disguises. I masquerade as caution. I am sometimes known as doubt or worry. But whatever I’m called, I am still fear, the obstacle of achievement. I know no master but one.
Its name is Awareness. I have no power but what the human mind gives me, and I vanish completely when the light of awareness reveals the facts as they really are, for I am really nothing.
You see, if you have the courage to acknowledge your fears, you will be taking the first step toward controlling them instead of them controlling you. And if you take the next step toward awareness, you will be able to move past them to empathy, perhaps even to love.”
~ Author Unknown
I kept this description of fear tacked to the bulletin board in my office for years. I gave copies to anyone I thought may benefit from the message. Mostly, I kept it for myself. So when Michael Singer wrote about how to free ourselves from our fears in The Untethered Soul, I had a hunch it came down to the one skill I had yet to master: AWARENESS.
I had another one of those “ah-ha” moments while reading Michael Singer’s description of fear. He describes fear as simply “a thing”, often just the rambling thoughts of our mind. Now, to be clear, we’re talking about psychological fear, not physical danger. In cases of danger, our fight and flight instincts take over.
“People don’t understand that fear is a thing. It’s just another object in the universe that you are capable of experiencing. You can do one of two things with fear: you can recognize that you have it and work to release it, or you can keep it and try to hide from it.” ~ Singer
So what do we do to dispel our fears? First, we have to realize that we can’t control the world or other people. And we can’t expect our minds to protect us from experiencing life. Life is gonna happen. At times life is pure joy. Other times life is filled with sadness and loss. Awareness of our thoughts and feelings is the beginning of healing and releasing fear from our minds and hearts.
“Do not doubt your ability to remove the root causes of the disturbances inside of you. It really can go away. You can look deep within yourself, to the core of your being, and decide that you don’t want the weakest part of you running your life. This is the essence of the path. This is the essence of a spiritual life. Once you learn that it’s okay to feel inner disturbances and that they can no longer disturb your seat of consciousness, you will be free.” ~ Singer
This week, be the Observer, the Witness – watch your thoughts come and go. Observe, feel, and release. Breathe and be free.
In the spirit of the holiday season, a quote of inspiration.
Next week: Going Beyond