Who is the most unwelcome guest that appears at your door? (And it is not your son-in-law!)
Again... Who is the most unwelcome guest that ever came "knock-knock-knocking" at your door? How many of you had some dark thought or feeling knock at your door and wake you up this very morning... unwanted guests such as depression, anxiety... "Hello, anybody home?" How about worry, a sense of inadequacy... and of course some familiar fear.
All of these negative states -- every last one of those characters that appear in their untimely fashion -- has a single trait in common that empowers all of them. And here it is... you already know it in one respect:
You fear the unwelcome guest at the door.
Anxiety: "God I've been anxious so long, what am I going to do about it?" Depression: "Oh man this thing is terrible--here it is again. What am I going to do? It's greater than I am!" Every last one of these negative states, when they appear at the door of the heart or the mind produces an instantaneous wave of resistance to their appearance.
Now, literally over the time of this talk, we're going to examine the quality and character of all these things that appear at your door, holding a hoop and saying "Jump!" -- and you jump, because an anxiety says, "You gotta do, you gotta go, you gotta get, you gotta fix." How many of you have a fear of disappointing people? "OK, through the hoop!" Depression says, "You know what? It's all over, there's no point. You jump through the hoop!" With every last one of these hoops that we jump through, the only thing that changes is the circus that produces the moment that the hoop is held up.
Now listen: all of our lives we have done one thing when that door is knocked and we open it: we always ask, in innumerable ways, how do I protect myself from this state, this depression, this anxiety? Is that not true? We're always trying to figure out what to do about the state.
Today, and for the rest of your life, you will ask a new question. And the new question isn't, "What do I do about this fear?" The new question is, "What is fear afraid of?"