Facing Fear and Finding Peace
Fear of Moving Ahead
A few years ago in Honolulu, my wife and I became acquainted with an attractive, Japanese-American girl, who had spent her entire life in Hawaii. As we got to know her better, she revealed that she was pondering and perplexed about whether she should go to college “on the mainland,” meaning San Francisco. The idea of moving to San Francisco and leaving Hawaii for the first time was giving her no peace at all. On top of that her grandmother, who probably was a buddhist, had taught her to always seek peace in every part of her life. The young woman was searching for an answer.
We tried to encourage her to take the leap, as she had excellent social skills and was obviously intelligent. She seemed to be dealing with fears of the unknown. And if she didn’t take this opportunity, we thought she might later regret it.
Over the years, I have pondered this young woman’s perplexing problem. As spiritual students, we train to expand and support our sense of peace. But applying this approach too rigorously may encourage us to hold back from taking part in new and unfamiliar things, rather than forge ahead. We all know that to grow we must deal with new things which may frighten us.
From personal experience, I know when I feel fear of doing something which, on reflection is really not threatening, most times I need to move ahead. Sometimes I even take the fear as a sign I should go ahead with it. Because I know that after being stirred up inside by the experience, I can always use spiritual practices to find peace within again. And I will feel good about myself for undertaking and succeeding in something which was challenging to do. This is even though I had been fearful from the beginning.
One Approach to Finding Peace and Serenity
We offer these affirmations on peace as an example of one of the many spiritual approaches which can give support in dealing with fear. They are from the Daily Word magazine, an interdenominational publication and a rich source of positive affirmations:
“I declare peace in my life today by choosing peace-filled thoughts.” “I stop, take a breath and imagine a tranquil scene. I see myself sitting by the ocean, taking a walk in the woods, or meditating in a quiet sacred space. My body relaxes and any tension fades into nothingness.”
“I bless myself with these moments of peace, which lift my spirit, enhance my creativity, and focus my mind. Remaining attuned to divine peace, I am undisturbed in any circumstance. As peace emanates from within, I impart calm and composure to the situations of my life. My serenity spreads to others. Peace begets peace.”
“Divine peace calms my mind and lifts my spirit.”