Fear is a funny thing to
talk write about.
We’ve all been afraid before, and will likely be afraid again, and again, and again.
The interesting thing is how we REACT to feeling afraid - afraid of failing, afraid of getting hurt (again), afraid of disappointing someone … the list of fears is long, but our reaction to fear is relatively consistent.
Tension in your chest, shoulders, or both.
Freezing up (a.k.a. the deer-in-headlights reaction).
Your mind going blank.
And if you’re anything like me, you may pretend you are not afraid and push people away when they want to help you. 😩
We are very afraid of being powerless. But we have the power to look deeply at our fears, and then fear cannot control us. We can transform our fear.
In the short (164-page) book, I made 115 highlights.
To put it bluntly, he dropped a ridiculous amount of ah-ha-inducing knowledge bombs and I could barely keep up.
And I chose this book consciously because … I’m allowed to be frank with you, right? … nearly my entire life has been run by my fear.
Dealing with clinical depression and anxiety for 20+ years, it’s something I’ve had to learn to manage, and sometimes I’m really bad at it.
But this book … I’ve studied Buddhism off and on for almost 2 decades and this is one of the most powerful books related to spirituality that I can recommend (whether you are interested in Buddhism or not).
I‘m sitting here and looking through all my highlights from the book, trying to pick the most powerful ones for you … but that is tough because I want to share them all.
But the one way to truly understand is to read the book, face the fear, again, and again, and again.
The five remembrances are:
I am of the nature to grow old. I cannot escape growing old.
I am of the nature to have ill health. I cannot escape having ill health.
I am of the nature to die. I cannot escape death.
All that is dear to me, and everyone I love, are of the nature to change. There is no way to escape being separated from them.
I inherit the results of my acts of body, speech, and mind. My actions are my continuation.
If you are fascinated by fear, as I am, then you’ve probably read a bit about it. We react to being chased by a tiger the same way we reach to having to give a presentation. Our natural protection system has not evolved much from our cave days.
Instead of trying to be “fearless”, we have to stare fear in the face, acknowledge where it comes from, and CHOOSE how to move forward.
Still afraid? That’s fine. Keep going. You can bring the fear with you and drop it one ounce at a time as you come to terms with it.
But please, do not let fear make your decisions.
I’ve done that.
You probably have too.
But we are so much more than our fear.
We are brilliant, if only we would allow ourselves a moment to experience it.