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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

facing fear

"Once there was a young warrior. Her teacher told her that she had to do battle with fear. She didn’t want to do that. It seemed too aggressive; it was scary; it seemed unfriendly. But the teacher said she had to do it and gave her the instructions for the battle. The day arrived. The student warrior stood on one side, and fear stood on the other. The warrior was feeling very small, and fear was looking big and wrathful. They both had their weapons. The young warrior roused herself and went toward fear, prostrated three times, and asked, "May I have permission to go into battle with you?" Fear said, "Thank you for showing me so much respect that you ask permission." Then the young warrior said, "How can I defeat you?" Fear replied, "My weapons are that I talk fast, and I get very close to your face. Then you get completely unnerved, and you do whatever I say. If you don’t do what I tell you, I have no power. You can listen to me, and you can have respect for me. You can even be convinced by me. But if you don’t do what I say, I have no power." In that way, the student warrior learned how to defeat fear. "

— Pema Chödrön (When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times)

yesterday a colleague from another entity shadowed me as i did my work. this person has been doing their own work much longer than i have been at mine. they also work for the agency that funnels the funding for my position and work with the person who oversees the grant i work under. it all seemed a bit overwhelming at times.

my actual job encompasses much more than the grant requires as is dictated by the needs of the patients i work with. rarely is my job a simple education process followed by a referral. more often than not, it is actually counseling with the patient as they need someone to talk with and have developed a sense of trust with my postion.

oddly, because of the nature of our clients and this work, the person shadowing me knew several of our patients as they had encountered each other long before i came along. i am not sure how this process presented for this colleague. the departure was short and sweet. i may never know their true impressions or if there was an exchange of confidence and trust.

but i am very aware that i am to continue my path until life directs me to change. that people come forward, as they are able, seeking comfort and inspiration. and somehow, i am able to show them how to remember where they left it.

today's sound choice is the opera segment from "the fifth element" i love this segment from that film and the duality of fear and courage it embodies. this is not the clip of the film, but a separate entry with clips from it.

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1 comment:

Sheria said...

Wow! The opening passage from Chodron resonates with me. It's as if it provided me with an epiphany on dealing with fear; rather than allow it to cripple us, to deter us, we listen to it, respect it, but we refuse to allow it to dictate our actions. As always, I take away mcuh from your words. Another wow for the film clip; it's a masterful blend of images with that haunting operatic performance.

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