Be Gentle with Fear

BE GENTLE WITH FEAR
Be gentle with fear. It is a child of the unknown. It has travelled light years to find you.
Do not be afraid to feel it fully. It will not harm you. Let it come closer, let it penetrate you if it must.
Feel its aliveness, its pounding heart, its vibrations and tingles in the body. Until there is no division between ‘self’ and ‘fear’. Until you cannot call it ‘fear’ at all. Until there is only life, raw and immediate, and nameless, and benevolent.
Fear is a breaking open into the unknown, a shattering of certainties. It is the forging of a new path into the vastness of night. It is the thrill of being awake.
Fear reminds you that you live on the edge of mystery. That you drink from the fountain of possibility. That your being is vast. That only the false can die.
Do not push your fear away, or label it ‘negative’ or ‘unspiritual’. Do not pretend it is not there. Do not rush to delete it, or transform it, or even heal it. It is not an enemy, and not a mistake. It holds great intelligence and healing power. It is ancient and wise. Bow before it.
Let fear be fear, fully itself. But do not be afraid. Let the body shake, let the heart quake. And know that you are present. And opening, and opening.
Let fear, so misunderstood, come to rest in your vast heart. Let it walk with you. When it feels unwanted, hold it close.
Standing on the threshold, you take those first steps into the void.
You are shaking but you are so damn alive.

– Jeff Foster

Daring Greatly

In her book, Daring Greatly, Brené Brown refers to a speech given by Teddy Roosevelt in 1910. In it, Roosevelt said:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”

I have spent many years watching school sport and admire the courage that children have to get into the ‘arena’. I have been to very few matches where parents have not yelled from the sidelines – criticizing passes, moaning when players make mistakes, judging the selectors and coaches, and complaining about the incorrect decisions that the referees and umpires always seem to make. Are you one of those parents?

I thank all our children, coaches, selectors, referees and umpires for getting out into the arena and to dare greatly. Without them we would not have had all those enjoyable moments of being next to our friends on the side of a sports field; and without them we would ultimately not have international sport!

  • Where in your life are you the critic?
  • Where in your life are you not ‘daring greatly’ and getting into the arena?