It is not that you must be free from fear. The moment you try
to free yourself from fear, you create a resistance against fear.
Resistance, in any form, does not end fear. What is needed,
rather than running away or controlling or suppressing or any
other resistance, is understanding fear; that means, watching it,
learning about it, and coming directly into contact with it. We are
to learn about fear, not how to escape from it, not how
to resist it through courage, and so on.-J. Krishnamurti
“Banish fear from your life!” How often have you heard that statement or something like it? Some people would lead us to believe that we can live lives completely free from fear, that we can just push fear out of our minds for once and for all.
It’s not possible, though. There always will be a certain amount of fear that remains as a part of who we are. Krishnamurti’s advice here is quite beautiful–understand your fear so that it doesn’t have a hold over you. Find out what it’s trying to teach you. Give it a chance to be a constructive, rather than a destructive force in your life. If you try to banish it, you create the resistance Krishnamurti mentions, and suddenly you have another source of stress in your life–the tension between fear and your efforts to keep it out of your life.
Someone who has a knee injury knows that even if the knee won’t ever heal properly, he or she can build up other leg muscles to compensate for the knee problems. Rather than trying to banish fear, we can build up other aspects of our lives to make certain situations less fearful. And by building, we contribute positively to our lives, and fear naturally will diminish.
Learn about your fear and your fear no longer will control you. Let your fear be a part of you, one of your most important teachers, and you can keep your fear as opposed to letting your fear keep you.
Questions to Ponder:
1. Have you ever tried to understand your fear and its sources?
How did it feel to examine it?
2. What happens when you create resistance in yourself
against something like fear?
3. Why have we always been taught that the best way to deal
with something like fear is to resist it instead of learning from it?
For further thought:
The most important thing that we can do about our fears is to acknowledge them, and then take steps to understand them and their sources. Once we take this step, we can work to overcome them. Fears are our way of keeping ourselves “safe,” but the safety brought about by fears is the false safety that we could get by locking ourselves alone in a small room for the rest of our lives. We wouldn’t ever catch the flu again or get hit by a car or face rejection, but we also never would grow into the people we were meant to be.-t. walsh