Question: I am ashamed to admit that my fears get the better of me all the time. Even being fully aware of them in the present moment hasn't helped. I wanted to muster the courage to do something, but when I tried, the most horrible fear I ever felt came over me; I literally felt physical symptoms. Needless to say I didn't try... I knowingly gave in to the fear and walked away. Truth is, I don't act on very much; something stops me every time.
Answer: Fear cripples anyone who bows to its threat. Living under its whip is absolutely no different than consenting to live with a heinous dictator in your own home. The great American quote, "As for me, give me liberty or give me death..." stands the test of time because it is a statement that crosses all borders, inwardly and outwardly, physical and spiritual. Why does someone agree to live in relationship with something that kills whatever relationship it touches? It can only be that such persons have never really explored the relationship they have with it... because once they see, clearly, the factuality of this consensual relationship with the soul-stealing state of fear, that relationship is over.
(Excerpted from student correspondence )
Question: What do we need to do to rise above the limitations of our present understanding -- limitations that, seen or not, play a role in our daily dose of heartache?
Answer: The answer may surprise you! Truth teachings throughout the ages tell us that healing the hidden and hurting places in our heart begins with becoming conscious of them. We are taught that we cannot free ourselves of anything that we refuse to meet face-to-face. The great American philosopher and self-realized author, Ralph Waldo Emerson, confirms this spiritual fact: "In regard to disagreeable and formidable things, prudence does not consist in evasion or flight but in courage. He who wishes to walk in the most peaceful parts of life with any serenity must screw himself up to resolution. Let him front the object of his worst apprehension, and his stoutness will commonly make his fear groundless."
What encouragement! But these words are more than merely motivational. The promise hidden in this powerful principle doesn't just leave us wanting the courage we need, far from it. Such truths invite us to see our lives through their eyes, where we are shown the existence of a fearless heart, free from all self-compromise. We catch sight of a warrior's way, where the favorable outcome of our struggle becomes certain the moment we choose to explore what is yet to be discovered within ourselves. But that's not all. These same truths hint of the greatest gift of all -- not only the possibility of a liberated life, but the promise of it fulfilled. And all that is asked of those who would enter this bright new world is to embrace its reality within themselves.
Excerpted from Let Go and Live in the Now
Question: Is there anything I can do to help my parents who are old and ill so that they are less frightened by this stage of their life? My children are also having difficulty with this situation. I guess we are all just not sure what to do. Thanks for anything you can offer.
Answer: None of us can do for anyone else, parent or child, what we haven't first done for ourselves. How can we help another understand a situation that we've yet to master? And we are able to "know" the fear of death (before the time for it comes in our own life) so thoroughly that it loses its power. The same holds true for all negative, self-limiting states including anxiety, confusion, and the stress associated with these dark thoughts and feelings. So, go to work on yourself; Christ put it this way: "Physician, heal thyself!"
The more we learn the truth about ourselves, the freer we become to help others do likewise and find the same freedom; and this kind of celestial courage -- the light of it -- is all that really counts in times of darkness, regardless of who is visited by them.
(Excerpted from student correspondence)
Question: Is it really possible to live without any fear, worry, or doubt? We're up against a lot in this life! To cherish and long for the idea of freedom is one thing; but to find the courage it takes to let go of all that's keeping me from being free... that's another story altogether!
Answer: Freedom can be yours. Of this there's little doubt... provided you're willing to learn the truth about yourself, about who and what you are not. For instance, you are not that sense of inadequacy that wants you to quit or give up on your life's dreams. You are not that compulsive feeling that causes you to fawn before others in order to win their favor. You are not any of those dark memories that swarm and sting you with sorrow and regret.
The truth is that you are not any of the defeated thoughts and feelings that try to drag you down and drive you to seek yet another new "power" by which to save yourself -- again! And when you see the truth of these facts, your eyes are opened to a holy order of truth: You don't need new powers to find freedom. All such "paths to power" lead nowhere. Realizing the spiritual freedom you long for appears by itself once you stop agreeing to see yourself as powerless in the face of punishing thoughts and feelings!
Who you really are, your original courageous Self, can no more be made a captive of some unwanted situation -- inward or outward -- than sunlight can be made to stand in its own shadow.
Excerpted from The Courage to Be Free