Controlling our lives gives us a sense of security that nothing will change unless we want it to. The comfort in what is familiar keeps us feeling safe. But what happens when we want a change, like end a relationship, move to a new city, let go of a job, or just make different choices about our life? What arises when we challenge our own control and the once natural order of our lives feels at risk?
Buddhism teaches us that life is impermanent and resistance to this natural cycle brings forth suffering. And suffer we do as we try and elude this concept, with great fear. Fear of what we will discover, fear of what we will feel and fear of what we will need to let go of.
While fear is the impetus to control, it is also the impetus for surrender. This paradox is the trappings for the struggles that we face almost daily in our lives. So, is fear our adversary or ally?
Daunting in nature, fear will challenge us in ways we can never imagine. We make choices that we never thought possible when driven by this seemingly dark companion. It’s grasp feels like it will never release, and we will fight to loosen its grip and fail, for it is a contender that never loses.
The instinctive reaction to deny and control its presence is natural; this will always be the initial response. But what if we were to become curious about its presence, and ask, “why are you here and what can you teach me?” It is my understanding that fear has something for us to learn from if we can get past the urges to control it. Control, closes the heart leaving no room for change.
What if we were to be with fear differently and see it as an ally? Maybe fear is the watcher of our path, timing its arrivals for our growth through challenges. Encouraging us to reach the greater potential that lies within through the release of control. Perhaps its forceful hand of humility and vulnerability are the attempts to guide and temper the cry of our ego’s resistance.
A Spiritual Warrior faces fear with the yielding of its sword, bowing in supplication, in acknowledgment of the change to come. For all one knows fear could be the custodian of a new life. The ally we meet on the path to transformation.
Through our acceptance of its arrival we surrender. And what lies beyond in the uncertainty of that surrender, is the mystery to be discovered in each of us.
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