Fear: a companion on the path of the Hero
When you have decided to lead a life dedicated to your Life's Work and to adopt the path of the Hero, you need to understand that fear will be a constant companion in your life.
Fear is a constant companion because when you are engaged in your Life's Work, you are constantly creating. You are in a state of newness at all times. And when you are doing things that are new, you will encounter things you have never encountered before. And when you encounter something new and strange, it is normal to feel fear.
I was recently at a dinner with other legal colleagues, people who had chosen very traditional paths, many of them quite successful. I did not enjoy myself at the dinner--I felt afraid for most of it.
After the dinner, I went home and wondered where this fear was coming from.
I realized the fear was there because I had not at all chosen a traditional legal path. And there was a fear that I had made a mistake, that I was not living the right path, and that I would be ridiculed or made fun for the path I had taken.
So I had to ask myself then, being confronted with the fear -- was my life a mistake? Had I done something wrong? I didn't ask this out of anger, or haste. Mistakes can be corrected. Better to fix a mistake sooner than later.
What I realized was that the fear was a fear of the unknown. Every day, I wake up and forge my own path, and it is a path that is unique to me. There is no well-worn road on the path that I am walking. There are no footsteps to me to follow. It is like walking in the dark.
When you are cultivating your Life's Work, you will feel at many times that you are walking in the dark. Don't be afraid of the dark. Learn to generate your own light. The light will guide you; and eventually, it will guide others, as well.
When we learn to be at peace with this newness that comes from being a pioneer of the soul, and from living a life of true creativity and freedom, we generate the Hero Mind.
The Hero Mind is a mind that is awake. It is a mind that understands the things it can control, and the things it cannot. It is a mind that learns to go with the flow, but to also use effort and energy when appropriate. It is a mind that is alive to the reality of the challenges facing our species, and which is dedicated towards cultivating a Life's Work so as to build peace and environmental sustainability.
The thing about fear is that you will encounter it hundreds of times, and it will still generate a fear response each of those times. The skill and the zen comes from recognizing the fear as fear; then you can sit with it, and digest it.
Do not be afraid of your fear. Do not be afraid of feeling fear. Understand and acknowledge that you will feel fear, and it will feel strange and create anxiety for you if you let it. Learn to engage with your fear. Talk to it, as you would a friend. Digest it, like a hard meal. But don't let it scare you. It will be with you for as long as you walk the path of the Hero.