How do you experience fear? Have you realized that your encounter with fear changes as you walk a spiritual path?
Before we walked on the Tao it was much harder to recognize the presence of fear. Our behavior was basically driven by fear without being aware of it. We worked hard because we were afraid that we would be a 'nobody' without the bank account, the university degree, the good grades, the professional success, the status. We entered different relationships because we we afraid we wouldn't be cool without the stunning partner, or we were simply afraid to be alone. Essentially all our drives could be linked to some insecurity hidden deep inside.
Walking the Way is a psychological maturing process. We still have interests and motivations but they are more about the thing itself rather than the underlying insecurities. Unfortunately you do not get rid of fear per se, but you are now able to stare it right in the face and you end up making much better decisions that way. A spiritual journey is about gaining degrees of freedom. You stare fear in its face and you tend - more often than not - to do exactly the opposite of what it wants from you. Love, not fear, is the milestone along the Way.
As we keep walking the Tao we learn to accept fear and just let it be. We learn to accept its presence like a rowdy room-mate without getting involved. But just as even a noisy room-mate has good attributes at times, the same with fear. These negative feelings are just like our inner child. The child can be scared, anxious, lonely or sad, but it is eager to be accepted and recognized. We learn to experience these feelings just as they are; like when we yearn for acceptance, status, power or love. With this acceptance, we experience change in us. Acceptance is like a magic wand. The irritation leaves us and the fear fades away. Our shattered soul is suddenly filled with love.
Let’s keep walking the Tao. Our Path is really a course in advanced psychology that gets us in touch with all our drives, longings and fears. Layer after layer of an externally imposed armor gets removed until all that is left is a beautiful soul shining forth. Let’s open our hearts and minds to a thrilling experience where fear is nothing but a transient feeling along the Way.
By Christian and Su Zhen