"There is no greater illusion than fear,
no greater wrong than preparing to defend yourself,
no greater misfortune than thinking someone is against you.
Whoever can see through all fear
will always be safe."
Tao Te Ching
It has been said by many wise teachers of Truth that, in every moment, we are either living from a space of openness and love, or we are living from a space of fear and contraction. In other words, right Now, we are either welcoming whatever happens as if we had chosen it, or we are trying like hell to control everything to the point of insanity and exhaustion. It has also been said that, when we get right down to it, there are really only two basic fears that we ever face; the fear of losing what we have, and the fear of not getting what we want (take a moment to see for yourself that this is true). Both of these fears completely choke off the joy of being Alive, and can leave us feeling paralyzed and overwhelmed.
When we live in fear of losing what we have, we can find ourselves holding on tightly to what brings us a sense of security (a person, a job, a situation, even a mental state), and trying to push away anything that threatens that security. Of course, we know that this struggle is, not only exhausting, but ultimately fruitless, as things have a way of changing with, or without, our consent. Likewise, we can find ourselves fearful of not getting what we think we need to be secure and happy (the 'right' amount of money, the 'right' relationship, the 'right' spiritual experience). We can spend all of our time trying, in vain, to arrange our life so that we get what we think will make us happy, and once we have it, worrying that we just might lose it someday. All of this, of course, is complete madness! No matter how fearfully and carefully we live our lives, we simply cannot control what happens, and we will find ourselves, again and again, facing the demon of our own fears.
Luckily, the antidote to this unsatisfying way of living is to first be honest about it, and whenever you feel fearful in any situation, to pause and ask yourself, "What am I afraid of right now?" Through this one question, we begin to see that all of our fears come down to being afraid of losing what we have or not getting what we want. After asking the question, breathe Love through an opening in your chest and let it surround any fear that is present. This Love opens the heart to acceptance of WHAT IS, without needing to change anything, and through this openness, we once again find ourselves living from our deepest heart. In this Love, all fear can be easily dissolved , and we return to the flow of the present moment. At the very least, we find that living from love FEELS way better than fear, and through this feeling, we find ourselves navigating every situation that life presents with ease and joy.