Fear

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

-The Litany Against Fear

I was cleaning out an old email box a couple of days ago, and found an excerpt from the litany against fear from a friend. It (again) resonated with me and I felt the need to share it.

So many things in our lives bring out the chest-tightening, stomach-clenching, vein-freezing paroxysm of sheer terror, and the ones that cause the biggest reaction are the most important, most meaningful opportunities in our lives. We know that ignoring them is not an option, yet facing them can reduce us to a quivering mass of primordial ooze in a skin envelope. Steeling our own guts against the knee-weakening watery feeling is one of the greatest challenges, and yet, it’s only when we manage to acknowledge the fear and work with or around it do we allow ourselves the freedom to succeed.

Fear’s nemesis isn’t courage, but belief. Wide-eyed, childlike belief in the impossible, in the improbable and never giving up the hope that if you believe hard enough and reach far enough, you’ll be able to touch a star in its natural habitat. Challenges like this always make me  remember the scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where Indy is standing at the doorway with lion’s mouth, looking out across a chasm. Chills ricochet through me as he lifts one foot and prepares to step out and fall into the bottomless abyss…

 

 

His belief in the impossible, the unlikely, the one in a million brings him through and he finds himself on the path that will take him safely across the chasm. He held his faith, believed himself worthy – and he was.

Never give up on that hope, that faith, or the naiveté that drives you to keep reaching over and beyond obstacles that others consider insurmountable. Never give up on your belief in yourself, and when it dwindles down to a flickering flame, tend it and love it until it blazes again. Don’t let something like fear get in your way.

Never give in, never give in, never; never; never; never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in…

– Winston Churchill

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