The Places that Scare You
May 25, 2009
Live fearlessly is a challenging concept to practice when we deal with things in society and in the daily pressures that overwhelm and conspire us to harden our hearts. Naturally, we see our ourselves as righteous warriors, gearing up for fights, defending ourselves from enemies wherever we turn. Perhaps in reality, what we truly battle with is a mirror image of ourselves – the Truth within us. Often, there is a false perception that these Truths only reveal something ugly in us. They may disguise themselves in many forms and feelings. Sometimes they are labeled as indescribable mood swings caused by fear, anxiety, worry, vulnerability and everything along the same line. Other times, they are labeled as something psychological such as mid-life crisis, feeling powerless, losing control, lack of confidence, confusion, etc. Gradually, we’ve created this seperateness in us. The deeper we bury these truths, the more the unknown scares us.
Pema Chödrön, a Buddhist nun, helps us touch Truth in her book ”The places that scare you”.
Flavored with her personal journey and bits of Buddhist wisdom, she essentially points out the habitual habits we take and how with practice and attention we can realize our habits, take a different path –rather than choosing the same old routine — and open to a new experience. Some life-altering insights quoted from her are: “Difficult people are the greatest teachers”, “The essence of bravery is being without self-deception” and “When we practice generosity, we become intimate with our grasping”. She offers tools for transforming our anxieties and negative emotions into positive living; she challenges people to open their hearts, following negative experiences rather than building walls. Regardless of what your faith is, it is thought provoking.
It is a book that is easy to relate to and filled with familiar ideas that we come across in life.