Fraternizing with Fear

Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones.”  -Thich Nhat Hanh

Fear fascinates me. I have seen it box myself and others in so we can’t see our way out. I have seen it kill amazing talent, ideas, hopes, and dreams. I have seen completely rational, intelligent people become completely crippled by worry and anxiety. I have felt its paralyzing grip as I tried unsuccessfully to hide from it under the covers.

I have also seen it overcome, it looks AWESOME.

Facing our fears head on is exhilarating, so please do that whenever you can.

Sometimes we can’t so easily get to the other side of fear. I’ve dealt with it in a variety of ways. Once, I decided I was going to conquer fear once and for all by jumping out of a plane…At the time I really thought this would help cure the fear out my life for good. After it was over I was still scared of not being “enough” and public speaking. DIDN’T WORK. So, I don’t particularly recommend the technique unless it is on your bucket list.

This is me signing the death waiver before going sky diving for the first time.
This is me signing the death waiver before going skydiving for the first time…that is my “I’m terrified laugh.”

Here are some things that have actually helped me around fear: Facing it, focusing on how good it will feel to do the thing I am scared of instead of the thing itself, remembering to stay present, laughing, reaching out to supportive people, taking a nap to get back to my rational self, acupuncture to rebalance the insane chemicals it makes the body produce, really good hugs, spending time in nature to gain some perspective, coaches, gratitude, meditation, anything self-nurturing, yoga, and love (giving it wherever I can and accepting it wherever and from whomever is willing to give it.)

“What is needed, rather than running away or controlling or suppressing or any other resistance, is understanding fear; that means, watch it, learn about it, come directly into contact with it. We are to learn about fear, not how to escape from it.” -Jiddu Krishnamurti

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