Seized by the Thunderhold of Fear

By Leo Babauta

They’re all around us, affecting our lives in unseen ways, causing worry, hesitation, confusion, anxiety, avoidance.

They bring us to our knees.

Fears control us in ways we never realize, unacknowledged and more powerful because of their unknown workings.

Fears stop us from following our dreams, from taking risks, from pursuing love, from seeking adventure, from speaking in public, from going into the unknown, from starting a new venture, from reveling in discomfort. We procrastinate, overeat, find distractions, because of fear. We are seized with constant worry, from fear.

And yet, these fears are just clouds.

They float into our field of vision, unbidden and unwanted, like a dark stormy cloud. We get caught in the rainshower and thunder, and feel that this is our entire world. We immerse ourselves in this cloud, as if there’s nothing outside of it and it will never go away.

But the cloud will pass.

The cloud floats away, like anything else. It’s nothing to run from. It’s just a passing cloud.

So watch the cloud of fear arise, acknowledge it, and watch it float away, like any other thought. Enjoy the chill of the shadow and the wind as it passes over you.

Then step into the sunshine of the present moment, beautiful and joyous now that the cloud has passed.

In each moment, we are OK. Even when fear arises, we are OK. Learn to trust in this OK-ness, the goodness of the present moment, the enough-ness of you, right now.

See the fear pass, and see that you’re still OK.

Once you develop this skill of watching the fear pass, and trusting in your OK-ness and enough-ness, you are equipped to deal with life, and get up off your knees.