The strong emotions are the ones we feel we simply cannot tolerate: anger, fear, hatred, jealousy, lust. The ones that, after we have indulged in them, make us feel as though we have “done wrong,” and bring on guilt and further torment. For the most part, these emotions seem to run the show. They ruin our lives and relationships. Even when we exert phenomenal will power to “restrain ourselves,” we still feel really shitty afterward. There seems to be no win here.
Unless we see the emotion differently. When I first began the path, anger was my chosen child. I had a deep hatred for myself, and strove on a daily basis to protect my sense of self from others. But the longer I worked on the path of tranquility (and then insight), anger lost a lot of its punch. It didn’t arise as much, and when it did, it was less powerful. It became possible to be aware of the anger. Sometimes it was possible to just let go of it.
Fear, however, retained much of it’s hold until recently. Tomorrow I may be afraid (I am still working on this), but seeing fear differently has helped me relax into myself and live my life fearlessly. It is easy to see doubt and fear as ourselves (“I doubt myself, I doubt my abilities; “I am afraid, I am afraid of what will happen to me”) and not see who it is who actually feels the fear. The fear can be found as a sensation, but the fear is not a self. If fear is already a feeling, then who is the feeler?
Fear does not have opinions about itself. It does not actually have a stake in the situation at hand. Does fear care whether or not “you” are afraid? Seen from this angle, who is actually afraid? What does that even mean? Is there someone secretly there, fearing? Or is there only the fear? We can see this for ourselves.
Looking into fear, without judgment or storytelling, we have the opportunity to taste fear as it is. If we believe the thoughts about fear, we trap ourselves. Energetically, the feeling of fear manifests out of us. What is it actually like? Is it, in itself, scary? Let’s find out!
“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”