Seeing Fear in a Different Light

No. 28
Posted on 10/31/2016 by Mark Hutchinson

"Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right 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

"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

Halloween seems like a good time to talk about fear. In fact, there probably isn’t a better day in our society to observe the causes and effects of fear. It is a massive social experiment: you come to my house, I try to scare you or you try to scare me, then I give you candy and hopefully we all enjoy ourselves.

However, fear does has a function and an important one at that. But fear should not be in charge of our lives.

The author’s above help us to see fear in a different context. Fear is only a part of our experience and when we see it for what it is, then we can keep living the life we are in. We can still see the beautiful sky. Yet, from a young age, the avoidance of fear, the fleeing, the protecting, become bigger and bigger priorities for us. Except during Halloween… mostly. Observe carefully today which children (or adults) seek a little fright. Which cling to safety? Which of them just watch?

A startling sound. A sudden movement in the shadows. What kind of unknown brings out the feeling of fear in the kids you see? What kind of unknown brings out your own feelings of fear?

Fear is an important feeling that helps all of us navigate this mysterious world we live in. Observe it in yourself. Work with it. Understand it. It will be less scary than you thought.

Happy Halloween!

~ Mark
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