Why is fearlessness so important and how can I get me some?
By definition it sounds pretty straight forward; however, as an emotion, fear has great power. I do believe we can mindfully control our emotions, therefore we can control our fear. Remember “no one makes us anything”. No one makes us afraid.
Fear causes great suffering all over the world. In many ways, it restricts our lives; it imprisons us. Fear can manipulate our perception of reality. It is also a tool of oppression. Because of fear, we do many harmful things, individually and collectively, to ourselves and to others. People who are hungry for power over others know that and exploit it. Fear can be a wall you hide behind. It dims our spiritual light when we are afraid to be who we are to the fullest.
“The essential cause of our suffering and anxiety is ignorance of the nature of reality, and craving and clinging to something illusory. That is referred to as ego, and the gasoline in the vehicle of ego is fear.”
“Fearlessness is not the absence of fear; it is having courage, in the face of fear, to do what needs to be done.”
Spiritual and Enlightened individuals such as Jesus Christ experienced fear. Jesus did not want to die on the cross the night they came to take him away. He did not want the soldiers that came for him to be harmed. Instead of flight, fight or freezing, he took the time to look within and prayed. I’m not saying you need to pray. Call it introspection, meditation, self analysis or whatever you like.
During a crisis situation, Law Enforcement Negotiators are trained to “slow things down”. Allow the momentum generated by fear to slow down. Take a breath, talk, sit with it. Slow it down. In the grip of fear our vision is skewed. When we slow things down by thought, meditation, introspection, we can begin to see more clearly.
Examine fear and dissect it into its components. Where does it arise? What is the sensation when you feel afraid? What kind of thoughts race through your mind when you are in a state of fear? What’s your particular pattern? Do you panic? Do you freeze? Do you get really busy and try to fix everything? Do you get angry? At this stage in the path, you try to understand your experience, try to break it down.
By slowing things down, you can interrupt the scene before you. You can say, “I don’t need to go there. I see what’s coming.” You catch things when they’re manageable.
Fear is not inherently a bad emotion. It is powerful. It is a healthy thing, in general small doses . It is awareness of danger. Fear is protective; it’s what helps us to avoid wandering into a hungry lion’s den. To be on a spiritual path you don’t need to be 100% without fear.
The only thing we have to fear is fear it’s self