For the past year, I have been examining fear. What I am afraid of, what situations seem scary to me, and how I get through these situations. I have noticed that fear has been the subject of several of the blogs that I follow as well. One talked about fear of not producing or launching ones creative work. Another was dedicated to the fear of death. Still another about the fear of losing themselves, especially in context to relationships. Even I wrote a post about facing my fear of ticks. (You can read this post by clicking here Facing Fear.) The list goes on and on. Just as there are all kinds of variations on the theme of love, there are just as many variations on fear.
The science-fiction novel Dune by Frank Herbert has many excellent lessons and interesting themes. One of my favorite parts is when Paul of House Atreides is tested by Reverend Mother Mohiam. You may remember the scene from the movie…. where Paul has to stick his hand in the box. I wonder, could I pass such a test, where everything that was happening was in my mind.
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” ―Paul Atreides from Frank Herbert,
What Paul says about fear is really important. It is important because it is true.
Fear can kill your mind. It can break your nerve. It can stun you and hold you back. Fear denies progress and ends relationships. Here is the truly crazy thing. Fear can only do this if we allow it to. What you give power to (fear) can control you. Do you want fear to be the one in control?
The first decision I have to make is to face my fears. We all have ways of coping and avoiding things we don’t want to face. Once I have decided to do that, I have to recognize these scary moments and face or embrace them. Once these situations have passed the fear is gone and I remain. Fear has no power if I face it and take away its power.
I know that this is not easy. Things scare us for a reason. However there is a difference between being taken aback for a moment and allowing fear to control you. I don’t want fear to be controlling me.
What scares you? How do you face or embrace your fears? Is there a benefit to letting fear be in control? What is the benefit of conquering your fears? What would you do if you weren’t afraid?