When Things Fall Apart: On Fear

Excerpt from When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times:

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 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.

There is a fundamental opportunity for happiness right within our reach, yet we usually miss it–ironically, while we are caught up in attempts to escape pain and suffering. Drawn from traditional Buddhist wisdom, Pema Chodron’s radical and compassionate advice for what to do when things fall apart in our lives goes against the grain of our usual habits and expectations. There is only one approach to suffering that is of lasting benefit, Pema teaches, and that approach involves moving toward painful situations with friendliness and curiosity, relaxing into the essential groundlessness of our entire situation. In the midst of chaos, we can discover the truth and love that are indestructible. Included in the book are:

  • ways to use painful emotions to cultivate wisdom, compassion, and courage
  • ways to communicate that lead to openness and true intimacy with others
  • practices for reversing our negative habitual patterns
  • methods for working with chaotic situations
  • ways to cultivate compassionate, energetic social action

More Info: www.amazon.com/When-Things-Fall-Apart-Difficult/dp/1570623449

5 Comments
5 comments
  1. Cate says:

    I love Pema Chodron’s work. She’s been a huge help to me in my RA journey.

    I’m a long time lurker. I hope you’re doing well.

  2. Linda P. says:

    Thank you for the recommendation. I hope things will soon be pulling together for you, not falling apart.

  3. pen says:

    I’ve been having more and more periods of uncontrolled pain, chaos, I feel like I hit a wall. my pain has escalated to a point way past when I should have taken medication, a long time ago. I am pushing trying to get things done, and ignoring my body. I will get this book and I hope it helps. Thank you RA man you are a super hero.

  4. Carla says:

    It’s great to have a post from you. I hope this means that you are finding strength in your journey. I hold you in my heart and in my thoughts.

  5. gloria says:

    i wish it ws tht easy to overcome the fear and the pain, i dont ve RA but my mum does, it has reached a very critical stage that she cant do anything with her hands, i am really scared, the hospital medicine is not helping, it actually seems its making her worse, she cries herself to sleep every night

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>