Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Absurdity of Self-Made Fear

A friend gave me a copy of Arianna Huffington's book, 'On Becoming Fearless'. I have been practicing . . . Not becoming fearless per se, but rather, being fearless with the fear itself. Sitting this morning, I found my old friend waiting, begging to be acknowledged. There was no going around the fear. I watched the breath trying to make its way in and out, through the constriction. Small, short breaths. 

Being with the fear . . . 

And reflecting also, past the obvious surface explanations of life's unavoidable vicissitudes. 

Down, down I went, and found the fear of change, and many 'what if' scenarios all involving me in the main role and lots of drama. This is what the anxiety prone mind does. Projecting into an imaginary future, and putting oneself through much unnecessary made up misery. No wonder I am feeling afraid!

Hence, to catch the mind, and observe the consequences of its doings. Feeling completely the suffering, and the absurdity of it all. And then, putting my foot down, and declaring no to it. Dwelling instead in the simplicity of the present moment. Right now, just typing on the computer, feeling the warmth from the heater on my legs, being breathed. Being grateful for the gifts of healthy body, healthy mind, and a roof over my head.

How is your relationship to fear?


  1. Fear is everything your mind can't accept. I find that when I have fear it is because I am not able to plan it all out in advance, which is silly, really. If that were true, I would be in a nursing home defeated instead of living my life.

  2. Fear has quite a bad rap, but sometimes there is some wisdom in it. Perhaps it's a case of finding the right balance and the right perspective on it.

  3. Was Once, yes, and thank you for your inspiration.

  4. I see mind-made fear as a hindrance, that's all. Fear about a 'real' situation is another story!

  5. Fear, I used to live with it all the time, it used to run my life. Fear of being wrong, of dying, of not being accepted, of not saying the right things. After fear it came guilt, and I was caught in a never ending loop. There is some wisdom behind it, I am learning to have compassion for it and for myself. When you are mindful of it, it can help you, but if you are not, it can ruin you.

  6. Thank you Jorge. And so happy for you, that you have learned to be with the fear so that it does not control your life. The main benefit of fear mindfully lived, is that it is an impetus for practice, and a great teacher.