Fear, like any thought or emotion, cannot be picked up with the hands and thrown away. But despite its intangibility, in these days leading up to my surgery I am learning things about fear I never knew before.
The undercurrent of fear that we all experience to some degree is more difficult to notice and release than big fear. The little things I’m genuinely afraid of, like bugs, a lack of money, or my plans not working out, seem so normal that I can hardly imagine what it might feel like not to be afraid of them. But this big event I’m experiencing, a major surgery, is so unknowable and uncontrollable that the fear of it cannot be brushed under the rug. Big fear either forces surrender or causes excruciating suffering.
Another aspect of fear that I’ve been noticing is that it lessens with an increase of gratitude. I’ve been realizing that I’m so grateful I can even have this healing surgery. I’m grateful that I can go to a hospital and have people looking out for my health and caring for me. I’m grateful beyond measure for the love and compassion I’ve been shown in the wake of this challenge. The generosity of spirit that those around me have demonstrated has softened my heart towards humanity in a new and deeper way than ever before. When given the opportunity to show compassion, each person can reveal an infinite wellspring from within their being, an insatiable desire to help.
I have also noticed that no matter my fears, what is simply is, and what will be simply will be. This doesn’t mean my mind won’t take me to the thoughts that are most potent for spawning more fear and subsequently more thoughts, but when that happens there is always surrender, there is always the “For This Practice” game, there is always gratitude, and when all else fails there is always one more chance for surrender.