Most of us struggle with fear in one way or another, be it the fear of what others think of you, the fear that you are not enough, the fear of failure or fears and what might happen in the future.
When fear rises in our heads we can be overwhelmed or weakened by it or see ourselves consumed in fighting it.
But these ways of dealing with fear often only make it bigger and prolong it. They also tend to limit our full potential and lock us into useless patterns and behaviors.
But there is a way to overcome fear.
The battle of the warrior student with fear
There is an ancient Buddhist story about this.
There was once a young warrior. Her teacher told her she had to fight fear. She didn’t want to do that. He seemed too aggressive; he was afraid; he seemed unfriendly.
But the teacher said she had to do it and gave him instructions for the battle. The day has come. The warrior student stood on one side and fear on the other. The warrior felt very small, and the fear seemed great and furious.
They both had their weapons. The young warrior woke up and went to fear, prostrated himself three times, and asked, “May I have permission to go to battle with you?”
Fear said, “Thank you for showing me so much respect that you ask permission.” Then the young warrior said, “How can I defeat you?”
Fear responded: “My weapons are that I speak fast and I get very close to your face. Then you get completely nervous and do what I tell you.
If you don’t do what I tell you, I have no power. You can listen to me, and you can have respect for me. You can even be convinced by me. But if you don’t do what I tell you, I have no power. “
In this way, the warrior student learned to overcome fear.
Changing our relationship to fear
Although fear is a perfectly natural emotion, when it dominates us, it robs us of our ability to act with conscience, purpose, and clarity.
But if we can learn to respond to fear instead of reacting to it, fear loosens its grip on us, it no longer catches us and we reconnect with consciousness, calm, and inner strength.
We do not need to be overwhelmed by fear, distance, or escape, but we can train ourselves to deal with it with awareness and compassion.
That way we can take a step back and see the fear of being kidnapped.
We can also see fear from a new perspective. We see that it is made up of physical sensations in the body, there can also be associated thoughts and although the sensations can be intense and unpleasant in the end fear does not have much power over us if we do not react.
Practice the three-step pause
The next time you feel fear arise in your day to day life, whether in the form of worry, social anxiety, fear of not being good enough or stressful so that things don’t turn out the way you want, I encourage you to give it a try. simple three-step pause practice.
STEP 1 “Name it for domestication”
Pause, take a deep, slow breath, and mentally notice for yourself, “Okay, fear is coming up.”
This is a way to consciously accept what is going on and help you step back. As the old saying goes, you can “call him to tame him.”
STEP 2 Know fear with love
Then see if you can bring a sense of compassion to yourself and fear. Instead of resisting fear in any way or seeing it as bad, think about the attitude you would have toward a loved one that hurt you. Know fear with love.
It can be helpful to imagine that you are breathing compassion and tenderness in and out of where you feel the sensations of emotion most strongly. Another approach is to place a hand where you feel these sensations.
STEP 3 Do the same
Remember that when fear told the warrior student “if you don’t do what I say I have no power,” it was in this way that he learned to overcome fear.
Overcoming fear is not eliminating it. It is about living a meaningful and fulfilling life even though fear is part of our experience.
Therefore, although fear may be present, point to reconnect with what matters to you and take action guided by your values and the desires of your heart in the moment.
This could be asking someone to get up in spite of their nerves, engaging in a conversation while feeling a little anxious, or looking for a job that worries you that you’re not good enough to land.
It could be making the decision to let go of excessive thoughts and worry and re-focus on the people, the environment, and the moment you are in right now.
This week’s invitation: to know fear with conscience and compassion
As you go about your daily life this week, keep training to deal with fear with awareness and compassion and, in the best way possible, let your actions be defined by your values rather than your fears, because as the saying goes Buddhist author and teacher Pema Chödrön: “Being brave and having a great life is about being intimate with fear in a wise and graceful way.
Feel the fear and then do what needs to be done. Instead of being depressed by fear, lean on it and see it as an opportunity to learn and grow. “
As always, thank you for your practice and your presence here in this community. I wish you a wonderful practice with this.
PD You can get all my meditations, talks, courses and daily mindfulness coaching at Mindfulness.com. Joining it is free, so come and try it today.
#Defeat #Fear #Melli #OBrien
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