Facing Fear : Gaining Courage

Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth… things become very clear when there is nowhere to escape.

The fear we sometimes feel is like getting into a very small boat and setting out on the ocean in search for unknown lands. With wholehearted practice comes inspiration but sooner or later we will also encounter fear. Like all explorers, we are drawn to discover that’s waiting out there without knowing yet if we are the courage to face it.

The trick is to keep exploring and not bail out, even when we find out that something is not what we thought. That’s what we are going to discover throughout life over and over again. Nothing is what we thought nor as we thought. There are turns in the road that cannot be anticipated.

When things fall apart and we’re on the verge of we know not what – the test of each of us is to stay on that brink and face our fear. That’s hard for most everyone. We don’t like feeling vulnerable nor fearful. We run like crazy. We use all kinds of ways to escape — all addictions stem from this moment we meet our edge and we just can’t stand it. We feel we have to soften it, take a pill, pad it with something, and we become addicted to whatever it is that seems to ease the pain.

A healthy alternative is to stop struggling to run and look directly at what’s threatening us. Today’s big disappointment isn’t necessarily the end of the story. It may be just the beginning of a great adventure. So, the next time you encounter fear, consider yourself lucky. This is where courage comes from.