Fast Reflection #1: “The path to empowerment and liberation leads directly through fear.”

By Adam J. Pearson

Fast Reflections: Introduction

This post is the first in a series called “Fast Reflections.” In contrast to my longer, more in-depth articles, Fast Reflections are short, quick reads that present a single idea to consider. Their purpose is to inspire some contemplation when you only have a few minutes to invest, like on a coffee break or while waiting for the bus.

Fast Reflection #1: The path to empowerment and liberation leads directly through fear.

In the past few years, one thing has become very clear to me:

The path to empowerment and liberation leads directly through fear. Never away from fear, nor ever around it. Everything I am afraid of facing is exactly what I need to face if I want to find greater power and freedom within myself.

I don’t mean just simple phobias like spiders or falling off the top of a building when you’re standing on a rooftop either. I mean our deepest existential terrors, things like the fear of failing at life, of never being good enough, of being alone forever, of being abandoned by all, of death itself.

The Positive Secret of Fear is this: The deeper the fear, the greater the reservoir of power and freedom within it.

Subjectively, the risk of facing a deeper fear can feel greater, but objectively, so is the reward. In fact, there is a still greater risk than that posed by the apparent dangers of facing our inner darkness. And that is being so beaten down by fear that we only ever half-live, never go all in, never follow our passion, never say what we think or do what we most yearn to do. It is the life in which we so submit to we fear that we barely live at all.

Facing fear is scary. How could it be otherwise? However, in truth, fear itself is powerless. It has no power that we do not give it. Its energy is entirely our own. It’s precisely for this reason that facing fear is empowering; as we face our fears, we gradually draw the power we gave them back into ourselves. And as we integrate that power, we feel more and more free.

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