A Modern Mystic

Musings on life, work and contemporary spirituality

Being at home with fear

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Lighthouse, Cape Mears, OR

Lighthouse, Cape Mears, OR

A friend called yesterday. She’s been trying to decide whether to move after accidentally finding the house of her dreams. It’s not an easy thing these days, to buy a house, put another on the market, get a new mortgage. I listened as she brainstormed ways to get the financing. She wanted a fool-proof plan, an air-tight  assurance that her mission would succeed.

Needless to say, I couldn’t offer that. I couldn’t tell her how to go about the process in a way that ensures all the pieces will fall into place for her move into that new home.

I listened more with an ear to hearing her discomfort, her fear and her need for control. How many times a day do I have the same fears and needs?

It seems this is the perfect time for listening. The Chinese call it the year of the Rabbit. With their long ears, sensitive whiskers, soft and gentle manner, the rabbit is the perfect symbol for taking it easy, staying quiet and allowing the wafting scent of the situation to enter our senses. We can really be as quiet as a rabbit, opening ever so gently to hear just what we need to know.

Instead we’re prone to distraction. Anything to take our minds off the complete vulnerability of the present moment. Anything to shout-out the whisper-soft voice of our heart. We’re taught to override our fears without giving them a second thought, and that habit makes our tiny terrors loom much larger outside ourselves in the form of political terrorism, financial insecurity, chronic health and well-being issues.

After our conversation, my friend faced her fears. She  realized her own discomfort in not having a Plan B if she should sell her present home and not qualify to buy the other. And when she presented her fears to her partner, something miraculous happened. In the space of his desire for the new house and her fear of taking the risk to get it, an option appeared that they had not considered. Plan B seemed obvious and approachable. The path opened when they faced their vulnerability together.

It doesn’t mean they’ll get the house. But it no longer matters. They are in a place of detachment, choosing the comfort of the present moment as their home for now.

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Author: Carrie Ure

Carrie Ure is a teacher, editor and happiness coach based in Portland, Oregon.

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