Question: I have tried overcoming my fears, and fight as I might, I just can't seem to break free of their dark and self-limiting influences. To be safe from something, don't you have to find a way to be stronger than it?
Answer: Yes, but fighting with fear is like trying to deliver a knock-out punch to a scary shadow. If you will dare to go ahead and be just as frightened as you really are, but at the same time agree to meet fears consciously, you will actually see that, as real as they may seem, these fears are not you! And no wrong reaction can dominate you once you begin to see it for what it is. Fear is, and has always been, nothing but a self-limiting reaction that we cling to in the darkness of our present life-level, having mistaken it for a shield of self-protection. Just dare to proceed even while being afraid. But remember, your new aim isn't to be courageous or to try and act strong in the face of fear. You simply want to be more curious about your frightened thoughts and feelings than you want to believe in them.
If you will follow this simple but Higher Instruction, not only will you start to see these habitual reactions that have been keeping you scared and running, you'll actually start seeing through them. This is where the real miracle occurs. With each new insight into the actual nature of these negative reactions, they lose some of their power over you. And their loss is your gain. You are stronger now and you know it. And you also know this new strength will never fail you because it isn't just the temporary appearance of a bold opposite. This new strength of yours is the absence of an old weakness.
Question: There is a person I would rather run from than run into. How can I stop fearing this person and trying to protect myself?
Answer: Starting right now, resolve never again to avoid any person that scares you. In fact, go ahead and walk right up to that critical man or aggressive woman and say or do exactly what you want instead of letting the fear tell you to do what it wants. Have no ideas at all about the way things should or shouldn't go. You are there to watch and learn about yourself, not to win an ego victory. Let that person see you shake if that is what starts to happen. What do you care? Besides, it is only temporary. That unpleasant person before you can't know it, but you are shaking yourself awake. For the first time you are letting your reactions roll by instead of letting them carry you away. And as you stand there, momentarily apart from your usual self, and working hard to remain as inwardly watchful as you know how, you can see that this flood of previously unconscious reactions has it's own life story: a shaky sort of story that up until now you had embraced as your own. But now you are beginning to see the whole story.
The fears do not belong to you. You have never been afraid of another person. The only thing you have ever been frightened by is your own thoughts about that person. Yes, you did feel fear, but it wasn't yours and it wasn't towards someone stronger than you. The fear you felt was in what you thought he or she was thinking about you. Amazing isn't it? You have been afraid of your own thoughts! And seeing this ends this. Now you can let this thought-self go, and stop holding on to terror.