Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Other Side of Fear

Each Tuesday, I receive a quote "Ocean of Dharma-the Everyday Wisdom of Chögyam Trungpa " from Shambhala Publications.  This week's quote really got me thinking.


Going into your fear is like going through a fog. The key is whether you’re regarding what you experience as simply something real or instead as monumental entrapment, imprisonment. If you panic further, you breed cowardice. If you don’t, then you just have an experience of fear. It’s a matter of invoking fundamental confidence. If you are able to join fear and uncertainty with genuine confidence, then you will come through to the other side. Dealing with the two sides of the coin in yourself is difficult, but it can be done. You discover a further commitment to working with yourself and a further feeling of connection in your life.

I've had panic attacks before. I've spent most of my life worrying about things I can not control. Learning (and it's a constant, ongoing process) to drop "all that" which is out of my control has been one of the greatest gifts Buddhism has given me.

I love this analogy of fear as a fog. Fear is a feeling, not a fact. Working WITH these emotions, instead of hiding FROM them, is life-changing...life-affirming....life-enriching.

I choose not to hide from fear, but to go toward it, to embrace it, to realize that, like all emotions, it is a fleeting thing and will pass. I try to stay in the present moment, realizing that these experiences called "life" make me utterly human, and connect me with every other living being on the planet.  That I can use my experiences to have compassion for others. 

How do YOU deal with fear?  

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