September 26, 2015

What Is The Opposite of Fear?


I have gotten a lot of messages asking for advice in the past year. They were all different, portraying unique circumstances, but I have noticed something that was the same in all of them.

A fear from our own feelings.

May that be anger or anxiety or greed or sadness--most of us have a hard time coping with these feelings. We think they identify us. That they have the power to define who we are.

There was a time when I, too, was crippled by my own feelings. When I thought I couldn't live my life because of them. When I thought they made me a bad person.

I thought a lot about what the opposite of fear was. I heard some people say bravery, others thought love. I could never really get on board with either of those. You need to feel fear in order to be brave, and love is great and all, but I don't think it has much to do with fear.

It was when I started meditating that I experienced first hand what the opposite of fear really was. While meditating, we allow every feeling, every thought that may arise in us in the present moment. We smile to them. We welcome them. We accept them.

Fear takes a hold of us by making us believe that there actually is something to fear, that we are in some sort of danger. We fear the outcome of the future.

But fear has no foothold if we accept what's about to come. That's how I realized that the opposite of fear is acceptance.

When we accept the present moment as it is--together with our feelings and all--fear has nowhere left to stick its muddy feet. There is nothing left for us to fear anymore.

Your feelings, your thoughts don't make you a bad person. The fact that you notice them means that you are smart. The fact that you want to be better shows that you are kind. You know what truly "bad" people notice about themselves? Nothing. Because in their mind, they are perfect just the way they are. That's exactly the problem with them.

It is only the good ones that think they are bad. It is only the sane ones that think they are crazy.

We all feel the same feelings. Anger, anxiety, fear, sadness--we all know what these words mean. What's unfortunate is that we also want to push these feelings away, not realizing that we only make them stronger in the process. We are angry at our anger, we fear our fear, we are sad about or sadness--we essentially double them.

But the moment we accept them--they start to fade away. Because every feeling simply slips off of acceptance. Once we accept an uncomfortable feeling, it ceases to be uncomfortable.

I like to think of my feelings and thoughts as visitors--I am not one with them, I am their observer. And I can choose to react to them with peace, acceptance and kindness. In return, they will be kind to me as well.

I love and often remind myself of a sentence I wrote in my meditation diary: "Never forget how good it feels to dance in the rain." There is no better feeling than allowing yourself to smile with acceptance to your own uncomfortable feelings. There's something incredibly magical in it. Because in that moment, you allow yourself to realize that you are more than just a feeling--and there's tremendous power in that.

So, dear reader, I invite you to smile, not just at people, but at your own feelings and thoughts as well. Because we are not our feelings and thoughts--we are the ones smiling.

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” - Lao Tzu

7 comments:

  1. The opposite of fear is ACCEPTANCE I love that. Then what us the opposite of LOVE? INDIFFERENCE? According to the LUMINEERS "Crazy Love " song. It makes sense to me:difference is the trait of lacking interest or enthusiasm in things. When you feel indifference for something, you neither like it nor dislike it. You just don't care much http://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/indifference

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your comment, Jess, I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I can totally agree that the opposite of love is indifference. There is a quote from Stanley Kubrick that I love: "The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent; but if we can come to terms with this indifference and accept the challenges of life within the boundaries of death — however mutable man may be able to make them — our existence as a species can have genuine meaning and fulfillment. However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light." It came to my mind as I read your comment:) Much love!

      Delete
    2. what an amazing scaffolding you built to reconstruct the thinking of one's mine I asked the question you answered so beautifully thank you

      Delete
  2. started accepting Things as they are, and all I try to do now is improve Instead of Worry, or Keep myself Down.. thanks !

    ReplyDelete
  3. Your definition makes a lot sense of to me. Thank you for explanation. Peace out. I am not tech savvy for the publishing so anon it is. Damo

    ReplyDelete
  4. Omnipotence is the opposite to fear

    ReplyDelete
  5. Opposite of Fear is Courage , Opposite of Love is Hate . However Acceptance is way of neutrality and it follows up in rising vibration always cause our natural vibration is one of Joy , Love and Peace . We do not accept fear but resistance to feeling fear , so fear can be felt in joyful and loving way simply cause our Inner being always strive to higher vibration .

    Many beliefs we do hold on that does not serve us cause low vibrational emotions to repeat over and over so many times . We dont rly need to experience those emotions so often as we do , but think about it . When you are afraid peoples may not love you , when you angry peoples may not love you , when you sad peoples may not love you , when you ashamed peoples may not love you , when you feel quilt peoples may not love you . AND OPPOSITE , when you are angry peoples may care about you , when you fearful peoples may care about you , when you sad peoples may care about you ... I came to realization that fundamental error is : We think love is outside of us and that we need somehow to earn it , we think we are what loves us instead we are what we love ! We cut our freedom to be , do or have all that we want cause we may not be loved if we risk if we show ourselves in all possible ways . Think about it , just observe how that mechanism works today all around the world . We can not feel good without geting conditions that make us feel good . We can not love unconditionally cause we need something in return - and root of it is in that error . Acceptance that you describe is wonderful way to let what is to be what is so we focus on creating what we want within us (emotional state-feeling good ) than to react to what is and get stuck there in resistance . Thank you for writing this post its so inspiring and i m in process too so both helpful and inspiring .

    ReplyDelete