Thursday Tidbits: Fearlessness and Faucets

Learning fearlessness is like applying just the right amount of pressure to the handle of a leaky faucet spout, trial and error. All things (and people) wear out, which may just be the root of all fear as well as the source of fearlessness.

Being fearless is experiencing the moment fully, regardless. We are told to face our fears for they are all we have to fear (Franklin Roosevelt), or we can consider the words of Thich Nhat Hanh: “If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay.”

Once again, I hear the Cherokee story about attending my two inner wolves, dark and light. In order for the light to break Faucet 0213through, I must see into the dark, attend it, which is not the same as appeasing it. Of late, my inner wolves have been as insistent as the drip of my faucet, all awaiting attention.

The longer I live the more I believe the key to fear is acknowledging that it never goes away—it lives within the dark wolf—and requires a lifetime of attention. One remains a fearless witness to one’s life:

“When we practice inviting all our fears up, we become aware that we are still alive, that we still have many things to treasure and enjoy. If we are not pushing down and managing our fear, we can enjoy the sunshine, the fog, the air, and the water. If you can look deep into your fear and have a clear vision of it, then you really can live a life that is worthwhile” (Fearlessness, Thich Nhat Hanh).

As in Michael Singer’s book, The Untethered Soul, one does not engage the fear by creating a future scenario or by visiting a past moment and tweaking it a bit—no to both. The moment is the only reality there ever is, and if one works with and faces that reality, then one’s life unfolds before one’s eyes, fearlessly.

That is the heart of my practice these days: transforming my fears so that they are attended to, rather like the persistent drip of my aged faucet with its spout and base leaks. I am mindful of the pressure I apply to its worn handle. It has a bit more time left and is worth my attention.

 “Nobody can give you fearlessness. Even if the Buddha were sitting right here next to you, he couldn’t give it to you. You have to practice it and realize it yourself. If you make a habit of mindfulness practice, when difficulties arise, you will already know what to do” (Thich Nhat Hanh)

Tomas at Heartflow 2013 offers another perspective on experiencing the moment for what it is. My favorite quote from the post is “don’t pacify yourself with platitudes.”

Thursday Tidbits are weekly posts that offer choice bits of information to celebrate our oneness with one another through our unique perspectives. It is how we connect, how we have always connected but in the 21st century, the connection is a global one.

As this is Valentine’s Day,  here is Eva Cassidy singing “The Water is Wide.”

16 thoughts on “Thursday Tidbits: Fearlessness and Faucets

  1. Pingback: Thursday Tidbits: Neurosis Interrupted | KM Huber's Blog

  2. You are so right Karen, no one can give us fearlessness. Lately, I have been facing mine head on and saying what will be will be. I have stopped trying to manipulate the outcome and gone with the flow. There is a great freedom in this. Thanks for sharing, I needed this post.

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  3. I love this post, Karen! My absolute favorite is this line: “That is the heart of my practice these days: transforming my fears so that they are attended to, rather like the persistent drip of my aged faucet with its spout and base leaks. I am mindful of the pressure I apply to its worn handle.” What a wonderful image! I just may steal that one for my own use. Thank you! 🙂

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  4. Wow, Karen, your ability to weave together different traditions, cultures, and philosophies is a gift. I love this analysis of fear through the perspectives of home maintenance, Hanh, Cherokee, Franklin, Singer, Tomas, and Huber. You are making me realize that the Cherokee story about the wolves contains more wisdom each time I look at it. Thank you for another dose of Thursday wisdom, although I’m reading it Friday morning. 🙂
    {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

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    • Well, Kozo, I read your Valentine a day after the fact so once again, we mirror one another. Thank you for your thoughtful and kind words about the post. When it comes to fear, we all can contribute, which may be one of our greatest connections with one another.

      Karen

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  5. good post – fear is the single most crippling aspect of human emotion – keeping us from living well, I have been a timorous beastie all my life but learnt how to walk with it to acheive what I wanted – I do find tho’ fear becomes more substantial the older I grow and the more health problems I collect – some days I do have to ‘manage’ it to exsist at all – on sunny days like today I can still travel alongside or a little ahead:) – I have never allowed ‘what ifs’ into my vocabulary – time is not for wasting so – nowadays my fears tend to focas more on what would happen to those who depend so much on me if anything happen to me – partly ‘managed’ by assurances from friends. Life is for the living and appreciating we just have to find the time to do so:)

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    • Hi, Alberta!
      What you achieve in less than 24 hours is more than most of us achieve in a week. You are a constant source of inspiration for me. Not sure why it took me so long to understand that fear is just with me. It’s not that I mind so much but now, I am not sure just why or how I thought I could banish it. But then, my naivete never ceases to amaze me! Thanks for stopping by.
      Karen

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  6. Very nice Karen. This says so much about our fears, and ideas of how to handle them. As you well know, I tend to run from my fears, but this gives great thoughts on how to deal with them. Thanks for sharing your wonderful wisdom.

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  7. Another great post, Karen and definitely rang true with me. I am a chronic what if thinker, which tends to cause me great anxiety. For instance, Autumn is not doing well at the moment due to a fairly significant uti and my fear and what if thinking is in full swing. Rather than focus on her being here with me right now, getting the best medical care and still being my happy little girl, I am admittedly caught up. Once again, stopping by here I’ve gotten just what I needed, a reminder to stay in the moment and not let the fear take over. Thank you!!

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    • Sorry to hear about Autumn but I know you will stay as present with her as you are able, as your love for her will do that. As for fear, I suspect I have been managing and suppressing mine more than I cared to admit so I am making some changes in my daily “practice” of present-moment awareness. If I will be in the moment with my fear, it will not take over.

      Thanks for your wise words, Stephanie. Keep us posted regarding Autumn.
      Karen

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