Friday, March 28, 2008

Quite an experience to live in fear.........

I went to have coffee today with a friend who had hired me to write something for her. She is a good person, and has been plagued with bouts of self-doubt, depression, and a host of other things for some time now. While she is seeking help, it is these things that have held her life back, and stifled her from seeking out what she really wants from life. In short, she lives her life in a somewhat constant state of fear. To her credit, it is something she recognizes. Still, it stopped her from pursuing a potential job opportunity that might have been a watershed event for her.

Fear. It is a basic emotional response that links us with just about every other living creature on this planet. It is often associated with the so-called "flight or flight" response. Fear can be a very healthy thing. It can protect us against danger. It can make us stand up for ourselves.

It can also paralyze us and make us susceptible to the very dangers we are trying to escape. For animals, it can mean the difference between eating and being eaten. For humans, it has evolved into living versus existing.

In Buddhism, one seeks to achieve release from ego and fear. The Buddhist first "noble truth," recognizes that suffering, whether physical or psychological, cannot be denied. It is an essential part of living. Accepting this is the first step in moving past one's fears. I think that this is what my friend is struggling with, and as she accepts it more and more, I hope that she can move past her own fears. She is a bright, very smart, well read woman. She deserves more out of life than she is getting now. I hope that she learns to break free of her chains and goes for what she wants out of life......

"Quite an experience to live in fear........that's what it is to be a slave."

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