I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.
Frank Herbert, Dune
I recently watched the film Dune and was struck by this mantra given in the first half of the movie. Most of my fears are imaginations or are irrational. Is it rational to be afraid of being attacked by a tiger on the streets of New York City? No, that is definitely not rational. If however, I was walking in the jungles of India, at dusk, then it is a rational fear for me to have.
I must separate the rational from the irrational – the true from the imagined. If the fear is irrational then I need to focus on the reality of the present moment. Where am I? What am I feeling emotionally? Is it helpful for me to act out of that place of irrational fear? No, it is not helpful for me to act from that place of imagined fear.
What about facing rational and true fears? Courage is not having no fear, but rather facing your fear and acting anyway. If you truly do have to walk in the jungles of India at dusk, wear a backwards facing mask as that greatly diminishes the chances of a tiger attack.
Ask yourself “what can I do, in this moment, to protect myself from this true and rational fear?” Don’t give into the fear. Choose to act from a place of serenity and calm. You’ll be amazed at the results you will see.
Yours in recovery, Bill R