Fear is so pervasive that I can feel its oily thickness, smell its acrid odor, taste its bile. We live in a time that is driven by fear-filled reactions. So overwhelmed, we are unable to take that first step of hope.
Not too long ago, I made a decision to limit the amount of news that I watch. Maybe if I stop hearing about the skyrocketing murder rate in the city, bigotry-spurred violence in the nation, the damage of storms precipitated by climate change, and the political instability in the world, I will be able to reignite my ember of courage and incinerate the pervasive fear growing in my core.
A quiet voice inside gently whispers, “Limit what you watch, but do not run and hide from reality. Know that to burrow into your self is to give into your fear.”
Turning to my Bridge of Intent & Action (found in Engaging Compassion Through Intent and Action) I recommit to the Third Pillar: Living With Curious Daring. The Pillar reminds me that my intent is not to live in a world free of fear; rather, it spurs me to live the conundrum of acknowledging my fear while being curiously daring in an uncertain world. This is the gateway of my transformation.
Walking across the Bridge of Intent & Action with curious daring requires that I do not run from fear. I do not stand still and get stuck in its sticky web of hopelessness either. I objectively acknowledge my fear. I look for the truth within the fear and identify how the seeds of my reactions create a monster of paranoid illusion.
Only when I discover the truth behind the fear can I objectively separate what is real from what was exacerbated by my fear of the unknown and my ignorance of what is true. I have discovered that what scares us is seldom what is unfolding — we are frightened by how actions in the here and now might create a disturbing future.
Being objective does, at times, move us deeper into our fear. When we peer into the unknown, fear gets “real” very quickly. In our curiosity to learn more about what scares us, we may discover more worst cast scenarios than our heart can hold. We shut our self down as the fog of fear obliterates any semblance of hope. Only when we add daring to our curious, is hope found anew. Our reality shifts. Sure, the facts might remain the same, but the vastness of opportunity appears.
With curious daring we are courageous — we acknowledge our valid fears but no longer allow those fears to stop us from living fully. With curious daring we are no longer paralyzed by our fears and stuck in the what-ifs of worst case scenarios. We actually seek new opportunities to live beyond our fears.
Life becomes an adventure to be lived. Bold in our actions, we explore the middle and the margins. Not knowing what we will find, we do not buckle in the face of our fears. We willingly try new experiences. We keep trying because we understand that to stop trying would mire us in the noise of hopelessness.
I am afraid on so many levels —personally, professionally, for my community, for the nation, for the world. Each morning upon waking, and many moments throughout the day, I have a choice. I can give into my fear and become overwhelmed and paralyzed by it. Or, I can live with curious daring and explore the middle and the margins. Trying this and trying that, I know that sooner or later, I will find the next right steps that courageously propel me across the bridge bridge of my life purpose.
Take my hand. We will walk through the walled courtyard of fear into the into the wildly, ferociously beautiful world of uncertainty. Together we trek across our bridges of intent and action with courage and curious daring.
Vanessa F. Hurst, ms, is a Mindful Coach, Compassion Consultant, Professional Speaker, and Author who weaves her inner wisdom into all she touches. Vanessa offers Neural Synchrony™ sessions to assist clients in navigating their life paths with intuition. Contact Vanessa @ email@example.com
Her books are A Constellation of Connections: Contemplative Relationships and Engaging Compassion Through Intent & Action