Within each of us lives something Light, Bright, and Timeless that wants to grant us our true wish. And what is this wish? In a word, it is to have a life that is free, uncluttered by self-compromising acts, and full of love. But the secret heart of this wish, upon which all of our other hopes depend, is to live without fear.
What does it take to live fearlessly? To realize such a Truth requires the highest order of honest self-discovery, followed by earnest actions based in higher awareness. So, let’s take the first step.
How many of us feel frustrated with life, with ourselves, with others, on almost a daily basis? Most of us will admit the truth of this — how, in any given moment, depending upon how things are going, we feel ourselves blocked, incapable, unable, not strong or wise enough in some way to win from life what we wish.
But, what we must discover, if we are to recover our right to live fearlessly, is that the real root of this frustration is not to be found in what the world seems to deny or withhold from us. The real root of our frustration in life is that we know, intuitively, that we are not meant to live with the constant sense of limitation that we do. To understand this important idea we must get right down to fundamentals.
Most of us know that whenever we fall into despair, lose our temper, or relive some past painful regret, we have lost possession of ourselves; we know that negative states limit our freedom because, in their dark “presence,” even our natural power of making proper choices is put to the test. And if our choices in such moments are (at least) in part produced by these self-limiting states, then how can what limits us help to free us of anything? It’s obvious: they cannot. They are the source of our problem, not its solution! What are we to do?
We need true self-knowledge, beginning with a whole new understanding of what it really means to live without limits. What is limitless in life — that which is without end within us — is our God-given potential to transcend limitation. Let’s take a simple example:
Those of us who have ever done some work on strengthening the physical conditioning of our body know that at one point or another it will tell us, “Enough! No more!” We know, by the pain or discomfort we feel, that it is saying it has reached a certain limit beyond which it does not want to go. But, in the same moment, experience knows how the body always complains when it doesn’t want to go further than it’s used to going. So, knowing this pain is just part of what must be paid in order grow stronger, we ignore the “warning” and push on to achieve the higher result we seek. Why do we make this choice? Because we understand, ahead of time, that this limit we have reached is only a temporary one; it is not the end of what it is possible for us to do.
Now, can we see this discovery must hold true regardless of whatever “body” it is in which we encounter such limitation — be it physical, psychological, or spiritual? When we reach the point where parts of us start to feel some kind of pain, some discomfort, it’s not that there isn’t more we could do; no, what limits us here is what we are afraid to go through at that moment.
What makes this kind of fear so powerful? The answer may be hard to believe: Fear’s power over us is nothing more than the way it causes us to forget the truth of ourselves, which is that we are created to eternally transcend the limits of our present nature, to transform who and what we have been in the very moment it ceases to serve the Good of us. But, because we have forgotten this, because we are asleep to its power in us, we are compelled to search for — find, and then believe in — “powers” outside of ourselves that always end up betraying us in our hour of need.
Actualizing our spiritual right to live without fear is not a question of achieving something. It begins with choosing to end a relationship with that which has never been true. So, it isn’t a questions of “What do I do?” but “What must I bring an end to?” Hence, the Christ’s saying: “Whoever shall lose his life shall gain it.”
Here now, for your study and consideration, are three common false beliefs whose unquestioned socially accepted convention serves to both frustrate and limit our natural right to be fearless. Also included are three new actions to take to start living fearlessly.
First of the fear-producing false beliefs: We must prepare — in advance — for everything that might happen to us. The world says it is wise to worry, to stress ourselves over every eventuality, regardless of personal cost to our health, family, or friends. Recall here Christ’s admonition: “Take no thought for the morrow.” The truth is, the more we prepare to be fearless, the more afraid we become!
Here’s the new action to find the fearless life: We must learn what it means to meet every moment awake to what it wants to give to us, instead of living from a fearful imagination that is forever telling us what we stand to lose should we step into the unknown moment before us.
Second of the fear-producing false beliefs: Before we can make those real changes in our lives, the ones that will bring us the freedom we seek, we must first secure the approval of others for our actions. Most of us don’t realize how dependent we are on the approval of others, and how we weigh our life choices on scales that not only belong to others, but that are broken as well.
Here’s the new liberating action: We must learn to detect and reject those unconscious parts of us that would have us believe the freedom for which we long can be found through any kind of popular consensus.
Third of the fear-producing false beliefs: Before we can make — and then act upon — those new decisions needed to give new (and upward) direction to our lives, we must have our own approval. If we observe our thoughts closely, each time we consider striking a long-overdue blow for our freedom, we will see they only give us their consent after having compared our proposed action to what may become of us if we take it.
But here’s the truth and its new fearless action: Who we have been has no interest in helping us shake loose of its inherent limitations. To see the truth of this is to walk away from fear born of negative imagination, and all forms of psychological fear are nothing other than the dark spawn of negative imagination.
Here is one last encouraging, fear-busting fact. The Source of our True Self is Love-in-action; and since Love transforms whatever it touches, any limitation can be transcended given our willingness to test this truth: Our True Self is created to neither serve, nor believe in anything other than the Living Light that is fearlessness itself. Prove this truth to yourself, and you will know its powers.
Guy Finley is the best-selling author of more than 40 books and audio albums on self-realization. He is the founder and director of Life of Learning Foundation, a nonprofit center for self-study located in southern Oregon where he gives talks four times each week. For more information visit www.guyfinley.org, and sign up to receive a free helpful newsletter emailed to your desktop once each week.
and please visit onejourney.net and help get the word out about Guy’s new’s project
Copyright Life of Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Permission granted to reprint with author credit.