BUDDHA BLOG

How do we engage?

 “Never turn your back on Fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed.”

I like to run in a circle, for whatever virgo, pitta reason. Earlier this week I got to my favorite running spot at the top of the forested mountain a few blocks from my house. It was slightly rainy and very wet from a big rain the night before. As I looped around my track-like circle that I was prepped to loop some dozen-odd times, I came to a stop to see a big portion of my path completely flooded. A big, deep, muddy, puddly mess. There was only a few inch space to the side where I could skirt around it. So I cramped off to the edge and slipped my way on, slightly uncomfortable. Every time I came around to that point, my pace jarred and I grew a little irritated. I could imagine myself slipping into those huge puddles and being covered in cold mud, ending my run. I kept on, every time I came around, slowing, slipping, sliding along the edge. 

And then I came around again and I changed something. Rather than resisting the mud and slipping precariously along, I engaged my feet as I ran through, pressing the whole of each foot firmly into the mud with a strong yet gentle pressure. Each step was quick yet deliberate. And to my surprise, I stopped slipping entirely. I engaged and I regained my power. 

This got me thinking about the larger picture of resistance. About those things you just keep pushing to the side until they build up and you ask your spouse to do them instead. The things that gnaw at you in your sleep, but you keep burying them because you're scared to face them. Because you're scared of getting your feet wet. Because they are new things that you don’t totally understand, and so you resist, you push your feet away, however subconsciously, and it makes you slip. You resist and so you lose your grasp, you lose your power. 

So how do we engage? How do we face our life head on, with both feet grounded? I find that when I’m afraid of something - whether its understanding the insurance bill or facing the tendency to overwork and avoid my passions - I resist it. I like to push it away and pretend it doesn’t exist. Well, that never quite works. It always sneaks up and comes back around, and I eventually have to face it. And that resistance wastes a lot of time and energy. Because what we resist never totally goes away until we face it- it's always there in the back of our mind, lingering, zapping our energy.

There’s a Hunter S. Thompson quote that says “Never turn your back on Fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed.” It is empowering to have a handle on our fears. To know them, to see them, to face them, and then, to kill them when we’re ready. And I’ve noticed - the thing we resist facing is usually much easier to face than to resist facing. 

When we step our feet firmly into life, we wrangle our power, we say “Hey, I’m here and I’m a powerful force. Try to break me, I dare you." It is essential that we keep our power up and our light strong. We engage in life to keep clearing out and gaining our internal strength. We face fear and resistance head on, knowing that nothing can ever truly break us. We are light.

And so I kept on running along the edge, feet engaged through the mud, pace steady - until I realized - I was still resisting. I ran straight through the puddles. And you know what happened? My feet got wet. And I didn’t care, at all. I just thought I would. 

 

 

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