Fear is part and parcel of life. To live without fear—or to have our fear so controlled as to not be weighed down by it; notwithstanding even micro-fear—must be the nexus of living now, into eternity. It’s got to be the final frontier toward freedom, however we define that.
Is it love (fear’s opposite) that gets us there?
No. It is courage. It’s that ability to mould usefulness out of the chaos of panic and the unknown, gripping phobia of anxiety. As far as nerves are concerned we’re told:
“Nerves and butterflies are fine—they’re a physical sign that you’re mentally ready and eager. You have to get the butterflies to fly in formation, that’s the trick.”
We have the very real opportunity to address our fear, attacking it with bold courage, almost whenever we want. Yet we shriek from these opportunities, letting them almost unknowingly defeat us, one day at a time, typically. Think about it. We run and hide, finding a comfortable place, out of the hold of the sun’s awkward, parching, revealing rays. It occurs in a surfeit of different ways, routinely throughout our day. It doesn’t need to be this way.
It’s far better when we’re attuned to taking the risks we need to take in backing ourselves in when we feel internally of externally pressed. The risk noted here is to back our judgment and simply stand by ourselves, despite the fear. In the 1950s, theologian Paul Tillich called it, ‘the courage to be.’
And “be” we must be. Why do we shirk from ourselves and our world so much, wasting the precious life-source we have within us? The life-source gives us life in a golden age.
How could we think this age is not golden? We live; we’re blessed with life right now after all.
And to truly live, being fundamentally ‘operational,’ we must restructure our fear, bridling and harnessing it, for fear will control us if we let it. We must learn to appropriately deny it. Normally denial is not good; but if we deny our fear in wisdom we’re actually blessed. A large portion of our fear is best denied and moved on from in faith—‘good faith.’ Google it.
Aberrant fear is such a common constraint on our humanity. This is because three-quarters of our being (mental, emotional, and spiritual) is affected and shackled by it. Even from a physical viewpoint we’re caused to fear over our physical safety and wellbeing.
Together with our fears we eye opportunities to develop healthy, appropriate courageous strategies for managing and channelling our fear. We must learn to be grateful for these opportunities.
© 2009 S. J. Wickham.