I just don't.
Friday morning (actually all Thursday night and Friday morning) I had a dental emergency and wrote this while camping out at my dentist's office, waiting to be worked into their packed schedule:
"I have been up all night, have trouble talking, am very swollen on the left side, but mostly scared. I'm a dental pain veteran, but rarely of pain like this, not with sudden onset out of nowhere, and not constantly this severe.
Which brings me to a topic I've been wanting to write about---fearlessness. I don't believe in it. At all. Mark Twain didn't either. He said,"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear."
I believe in befriending and happily co-existing with fear. In acknowledging it, fully feeling it as a part of me, listening to what it has to say to me, and then moving through it, effectively making it irrelevant to what I decide to do.
I never want fear to stop me. Instead, I want it to be my friend.
Last night as I laid awake I made friends with pain. As the throbbing continued, I felt it and followed it, at times dosing off, only to be awakened by an intensification. I told myself that it was only pain. The bigger question was what the pain meant, but I tried to put that off since there was nothing that I could do about it was anyway. I didn't take any pain killers, because I wanted to be aware of the pain's intensity in case something changed and I had to take some action--what I didn't know--go to the emergency room, wake up LoveHubbie, etc. I even thought I might die (that's how bad the pain was). That sounds a little panicked but I was pretty calm about it. The whole process was more peaceful than anxious, a new one for me.
I think that sometimes we experience fearlessness in scary or terrifying circumstances, but this is trans-human, a miracle, a gift, not something to be counted on. Most of the time I think that we will indeed feel fear but invite it to ride with us on our journey, not in control or in the driver's seat, but as a passenger along with other friends."
As part of my Sacred Hour in the morning, I draw a stone (one of a batch of 19) to set my theme for the day. They are all individual words that hold a lot of meaning for me, like this year's theme "JUMP!" So anyway, today's word was "FEAR". I include it in my stones because instead of feeling dread or recoiling when I see it (my natural reaction being "Oh, no, what is going to happen today?") I want to smile and think of the opportunities in the day for communing with My Friend Fear.
Angela of Eclectic Recovery writes about her fear in an integrative way also today here.
What do you think about this? What is your relationship with fear?