Thursday, January 13, 2011

When Fear Falls Away

A friend recently had an awakening experience where all her fear disappeared. She is no longer afraid. Along with fear, her guilt and self-hatred are gone. She is now experiencing joy for no apparent reason. Causeless joy.

I just finished a book called When Fear Falls Away by Jan Frazier. I bought it because I wanted to understand my friend's experience. In her book, Frazier talks about praying that she could go to the doctor and not feel fear. She woke up the next morning and all her fear was gone. And it never came back. What filled the space that fear left? Causeless joy, love, bliss.

I've known for a while that my deepest desire is for freedom. "Freedom from what?" someone asked me a few days ago. Good question. Freedom from other people's expectations, freedom from society's rules, freedom from... the list went on and on. But finally it got to the bottom. My deepest desire is freedom from fear.

Fear has been running my life for far too long. I got my MBA not because I like business, but because I wanted to make money. I wanted to survive. This theme keeps coming up for me, even these days when I consider myself more "awake." I came back from vacation where I was feeling blissful and found myself stressed today, in a bad mood, not able to breathe. I realized how much I dislike one of the projects I'm working on. Then the idea occurred to me that I could quit. The job is only a few hours a week, it's not enough for me to earn a living, and there is no joy in it at all--just stress. As soon as I woke up to the fact that I could leave this painful mini-job, I started breathing again, my mood improved, and I started feeling excitement about all the future possibilities.

Then I felt too good to continue working. So I went to my living room, lit the fireplace, sat on the couch with a blanket, a good book, and my cat on my lap, and had a blissful afternoon.

So my prayer too has become to be free of fear. I know we weren't meant to do work we dislike that is stressful, just to pay the bills and survive. Is this what I want to be written on my epitaph: She survived? None of us are going to have that written on our epitaph because ultimately we're not going to survive. So why aren't we doing work that we are passionate about, that feeds our souls and that is in service to others? Only one reason. Fear

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