Shuba’s Weblog

Journeys of the soul…

The places we fear…

on April 29, 2010

Who among us hasn’t feared something? Fear, yet another emotion in the spectrum of human emotions – anger, rage, jealousy, kindness, love, compassion. The places that scare us have so much to teach us.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to sit with my fears. It was easy because I am in a situation about which there is some anxiety and a deep unexplainable irrational fear. I could sense how my body clenched up when my thoughts went to this particular situation. How my stomach muscles tensed and I sat on the edge of my cushion. and then I acknowledged that this is what fear feels like. acknowledge – that itself seemed a big relief!

Sometimes our deepest fears are hard to realize and acknowledge. It is much easier to pretend they don’t exist or simply react to them. The simplest way to become aware of our fears is through our body. by being present in our body. Then to acknowledge them in a non-judgmental way. Things are as they are. and that is okay. That creates space for compassion to arise. and wise action.

As long as we deny our fears, we continue to react, instead of responding, out of habit. There is no freedom there, because we feel like we have no choice. But once we acknowledge, there is a choice. Do we want to continue doing what we did or do we want to respond in a new way? We can think practically, on whether our fears are legitimate, is there a way to work with it, and is there a way to look at it differently that reflects our true intentions.

Not to say that is easy. But each step we take in the direction of honesty and truth, we come closer to freedom. of choice. Just like we can loosen the grasp of desire by mindfulness, we can loosen the grasp of the fears that hold us against our will.

Rumi says:

“Why do you stay in prison
when the door is so wide open?

Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking.
Live in silence.”

Let us open the prison doors…may we be free,
With Metta, S.

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