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The importance of fear

September October and November are the months of joy and celebration in India. Almost every religion and community celebrate festivals that bring people together. But if you look at the legends of these festivities, they are all celebrations of the victory of good over evil and bravery over fear.

Fear comes in various forms and shapes. In mythology, it is depicted as a Demon with a grotesque form and hideous features. The moment we see that form, we are immediately filled with loathe, disgust, fear and revulsion. We cringe and get subdued. Besides the demon, there is the God or Goddess, resplendent in a beautiful dress fighting the demon. The moment we see the God or Goddess, we are filled with hope, joy, love and affection. And we celebrate the evening with sweets, lamps, music and food to glorify the victory of Gods over Demons. The sweets make the taste of evil go away. The light from lamps dazzles the darkness away, the music brings joy and removes depression and food brings indulgence and satisfaction. Fear is very important for us to realize the importance of celebration. Just as the night is the darkest before dawn, similarly, we have to go through the darkest of fears to realize our calling.

Fears can subdue us. They can take over our lives and never allow us to Seek our true calling.  They take various forms and shapes. Here are some of the forms (taken from a book by L.G. Baldt)

  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of rejection
  • Fear of reality
  • Fear of losing identity
  • Fear of pain (physical)
  • Fear of commitment
  • Fear of making a wrong choice and regretting
  • Fear of not being in control
  • Fear that it will never work

All you Seeker’s out there – know this – everyone has a fear sitting on their shoulders. Its how you deal with it that makes all the difference.  After meeting many seekers in last few years, I realized that the most important reason that stops us from doing something what we want is the “FEAR” of something that is listed above.  I will be lying to you if I said that I dont have fears. The last few weeks have been terrible. The worst of our fears came true and we felt so vulnerable. And here is what happens to me when I am afraid – I loose appetite, I sleep very poorly, I stop smiling and think about that silly fear all the time till it becomes a huge problem. Nothing excites me anymore. I start finding escape routes to avoid confronting it and I feel like running away to Spain or any country with blue waters and great food as shown in TLC :).

When I was a kid, we had a lovely swimming pool in our locality managed by the army folks. But I was afraid of water. Actually, I was afraid that I would make a fool of myself in front of the boys and girls of my age. So I enjoyed playing in the shallow and would never venture in the deep. I found 108 reasons to let my fear console me that I was doing all right.  I really wanted to swim towards the deeper side, play ball with my friends but my fear wont let me. Instead, my fear made me comfortable till I realized that I was bored. I still didnt do anything. I let myself be bored. One day, the coach – a huge army guy, lifted and threw me down towards the deep. I screamed, shouted but all I heard was everyone laughing.  And I wondered – “why the hell arent they helping me?” . I think they all knew I could swim but needed a push. I didnt realize it but I was flailing my arms and legs and was swimming already. This new wave of victory came like a shot and I swam around the pool. The coach and my friends clapped. My elder brother helped me come out and said “didnt I tell you it was easy?”. So sometimes, all we need is a push. We probably have a natural tendency to find our way. But we wont realize it unless we are right in the middle of it.

The joy of conquering over your fear is unparallel.  Its the combination of the sweetest sweet, brightest light, grooviest music and the choicest foods. And when you keep tasting this feeling, you will never go back. The best way to overcome fear is to imagine this sweet heady taste of victory. So this Diwali – try and fight any 1 of your fear that is stopping you from seeking your calling. If you need a push, let me know 🙂 And if you can write a comment on how you overcame your fear and seeked your calling, I will be most grateful.

One comment on “The importance of fear

  1. Abhijit
    October 15, 2013

    My friend and I had gone canoeing once. This was our first time and we were very scared that our boat might topple and we could get into the water. The water was very cold and had a steady current to it. To top it we didn’t have any spare clothes to change into. We started very cautiously and in about 90 seconds were in fresh cold water !. Our canoe, my friend, and I were happily in 3 different directions all being happily swayed by the steady flow of water. Luckily people helped us to get back our canoe and we managed to get back into it, dripping wet ! Slowly slowly we learnt how to canoe, the sun came out and in about 45 mins. we were getting dry !

    In the end we thoroughly enjoyed the ride and canoeing is now one of my favorite hobbies. I am very glad that I got into the cold waters and eventually got to face my fears !!!

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This entry was posted on October 15, 2013 by in Seek:Finding Your Calling and tagged , , , , , , , .

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