When we have faith, there is no fear. When fear or anxiety overwhelm our faith, can this be the inspiration to deepen our faith? Can we investigate where our fear is stronger than our faith? Can we have compassion for the places where we are afraid, where we shrink from being fully alive? Can we even become aware of the background anxiety that we tend to take for granted as our human condition? Are we even addicted to fear?
Probably the main question however, is what do we have faith in. My experience has been that almost everyone that I have met admits that they have faith, that they trust, something greater than their rational mind can understand. God, True Self, the Mother, the Christ, Buddha/Dharma/Sangha, the spirit of Truth, the Formless One. We can even begin to just trust our basic experience. Grasping leads to suffering. Clear awareness and spacious compassion carry us beyond suffering.
For many of us, these days in which the unseen and possibly deadly Covid virus might be almost anywhere uncover fears that we had mistakenly assumed were already healed. When fear arises, can it be the inspiration to surrender even more fully into the heart, the heart where faith truly lives? We deepen our faith that love and compassion are stronger than any fear. One of my early meditation teachers said that until we become intimate with our fear of death, our spiritual practice will have the quality of us being a dilettante. These times call out for warriors, not dilettantes. Warriors of compassion.
Resisting, avoiding, or fearing fear is a much greater problem than the fear itself. Franklin Roosevelt was wrong when he said “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” We don’t have to be afraid of fear. When feeling fear, first let go of the story. We rarely feel fear but rather fixate on that which triggered the fear. Feeling it directly and nakedly in our body. Then opening the spacious heart of compassion to the place in us that is afraid. Emotion floating freely in the vast merciful heart.
Finally a quote by Ernest Becker, author of The Denial of Death
The irony of the human condition is that the deepest need is to be free of the anxiety of death and annihilation; but it is life itself which awakens this anxiety, and so we shrink from being fully alive.
What a remarkable time to be but fully alive!
~ Dale Borglum
Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition.
~ James Baldwin