REFLECTION: ‘Fear is, for most of us, a really strong driver. And it can easily come to dominate us. Earlier in this year of spiritual practice we explored the idea of fighting our dragons with humility. We’ve also noted that occasionally the only thing that will enable us to hold on in tough times is to choose to be courageous and to do the right thing. In this practice, one of the final three practices in Running Over Rocks, each exploring the possibility of love, I want to suggest that the most freeing way to live with our fears is to face them with love – the only spirit that truly enables us live as free people. For this reason we might say that the true opposite of fear is not calmness, confidence or even hope, but love…’
PRACTICE: ‘A first and necessary step in the practice of Face Fear with Love is to recognize our fears. We can then begin to respond to them with intention, rather than just with instinct (please note that there is still a place for the instinctive response of flight in certain situations – may you know when!) At the end of today ask yourself this (and your answer to this question may come as shock but the insight may be worth the effort and indignity): To what extent have my actions and inactions today been shaped by fear? A next step is to convert the energy of fear (and fear carries a lot of energy) into something more positive. So, try to take the energy that comes from your fear of a certain situation happening and convert it into love for something or someone else…’
©Ian Adams ‘Running Over Rocks: spiritual practices to transform tough times’ (Canterbury Press)
Ian’s new collection of poems Unfurling is out now in paperback and e-format on Canterbury Press, also via your local bookshop, and all usual online sources including Book Depository with free delivery world-wide.