35: Battling Fear

Once there was a young warrior. 

Her teacher told her that she had to do battle with fear. She didn’t want to do that. Battling seemed too aggressive; it was scary; it seemed unfriendly. But the teacher said she had to do it and gave her the instructions for the battle. 

The day arrived. 

The student warrior stood on one side, and fear stood on the other. The warrior was feeling very small, and fear was looking big and wrathful.

They both had their weapons. 

The young warrior roused herself and went toward fear, prostrated three times, and asked, “May I have permission to go into 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 replied, “My weapons are that I talk fast, and I get very close to your face. Then you get completely unnerved, and you do whatever I say. 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 say, I have no power.” 

In that way, the student warrior learned how to defeat fear.”

– Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times- Pema Chodron,

I feel a lot of fear today. I don’t know when it started, where it came from, or how to make it go away.

I know that hiding my Fear, bottling Fear up, wrestling with Fear, or denying Fear emboldens my Fears and creates feelings of shame and anxiety. Battling fear only strengthens fear. The feelings of fear grows. 

In reality is feelings just are. I’m simply feeling fear because fear exists. Fear has no power if I respect and listen but do not battle the feelings. Only when I react do I lose the battle.

I wear the armor for the battle I expect, not the battle I am living.

Not every day can be the best day. Today doesn’t feel like the best day but feelings are data, not directives.

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