I received an email recently from a former intern who is passionate about writing. In it she confided, “I fear I lose passion and motivation at times — especially, when I feel like I can’t do anything right.” Her fear really resonated with me because much of my life I operated on fear: fear of leaving home, fear of losing a job, fear of being inadequate, fear of being judged by others, fear of not finding a partner — the runaway train of fear. Like my intern, I didn’t feel like I did anything right. While I still carry fear, which never truly goes away in any of us, I’ve learned to deal with it more constructively. After my sister Sun passed away of ovarian cancer, I turned more inward to face my fears head on and discovered the real possibility of love.
Fear is the root of our problems. It is our number one enemy from being our best and reaching our fullest potential, individually and collectively as human beings. Fear debilitates us from pursuing our passions and dreams; creates hate and conflict; breeds mistrust among nations and people; starts wars; makes people selfish, greedy and ignorant. With all this negativity, why do we embrace fear so much? We were all designed and born to have fear for a very good reason: to help us get out of danger when put in harmful situations. But unlike animals, we have the ability to think and become rational about it, so this is the side that gets us into a lot of trouble. When an animal feels danger, it dashes off immediately without any thought or hesitation. With us, instead of just reacting by our gut instinct, we can evaluate the situation. For example, I read a story about a woman who was standing by an elevator to get up to her apartment. When the elevator door opened, she saw a strange man and had an unnerving, fearful reaction to him, but instead of listening to her gut and walking away, she rationalized that it would be rude not to get into the elevator. So she entered and got raped. While it is our very ability to be rational that makes us genius, it also makes us stupid and vulnerable.
In “Return to Love” by Marianne Williamson, she writes, “miracle is when you turn fear into love.” Wow, I thought, how profound and brilliant is that — “miracle is when you turn fear into love.” We think of miracles as lottery-winning events that can happen maybe once or twice in our life time (if we’re lucky), but it is possible to have them every day! In looking back at my life, I can recall multiple times when this happened. Whenever I let go of unhealthy emotions and embraced love, the fog of fear seemed to dissipate more and more. It was when I surrendered myself to the Universe and asked for love and guidance that I found amazing things — miracles — happening in my life: better opportunities, better relationships, etc. After dating my husband for a year, I knew that we needed to stay together or separate, but unlike previous relationships, I made a shift and fully embraced the prospect of separation as much as that of staying together. I was no longer fearful of the separation, as I would have been in my earlier years, and surrendered myself to the Universe knowing that it would love me unconditionally. The upshot of surrendering my love to fate is that I got married. The same happened when I made a decision to move out to the West coast by myself. While I had fears about relocating — leaving my family, having no resources, and feeling alone because I didn’t know anyone on the other side of the country — I, again, turned to the Universe knowing that it loved me and would show me the way. Turns out that it was the best decision I made in my life: I am married to a wonderful man and pursuing my passion.
How can we prevent our fears from crippling us to be our best and shift toward love to experience miracles every day?
Letting go of people and situations that you have no control over is a great way of getting rid of fear. By surrendering, you are lifting a huge weight off your shoulders and the burden is no longer on you. While you may think you are losing control by surrendering, in fact, it’s just the opposite: you are gaining control by nurturing freedom and peace that makes you naturally fearless, and when you’re fearless, then you can conquer obstacles and challenges in your life with zest and confidence. As Lao Tzu said, “When we don’t see the self as self, then what do we fear?,” which means that in letting go of that part you “think” is you and just Be one with yourself and the Universe, it will automatically eradicate fear.
When you surrender, you’re allowing yourself to connect to your true Being and to the Universe, which helps you find clarity and purpose in your life. Finding your cause enormously helps get rid of fear because that inner conviction that “I must and will do this” makes you unstoppable in your mission. There is no way that you will allow fear to prevent you from fulfilling your purpose.
Ask for Love and Return Love
Once you connect with the Universe, you will feel the love the Universe already has for you and return the commitment to love by loving yourself and your fellow humans — as it is a two way street. You will feel love swelling up in you and fear just disappears and melts like butter. Feeling like your dancing on cloud, when you’re in the light of love, a sense of joy just overcomes you. These are the moments when I start to shed tears and be immensely grateful for all of my blessings in life.
Decisions Based on Confidence, Not Fear
Like I said, most of my life, I operated and made life decisions based on fear. I realized this was destructive. When you are presented with opportunities in life, step back and evaluate whether the choice you are making is based on confidence or fear? If you turn to your gut instincts, you will know the truthful answer. Do not get caught up in all the white noise out there by fearful family members whose intentions are good but misguided, by jealous friends and colleagues who would rather see you fail than succeed. Make your own decisions based on your true compass. Whenever I made my decision based on fear, the situation took a turn for the worse — financially, emotionally and physically from the stress — so be aware that there are negative consequences when decisions are made out of fear, rather than confidence.
Fear can be our most destructive force yet most protective, so fear must be channeled in the right way. While fear has its useful purpose, it can never lift us up, make us better than who we are, and allow us to live our best lives, so we have to redirect that negative energy into a different kind — called love. So turn your fear into love, and you can witness and experience miracles every day — and that in and of itself is a miracle! How amazing is that?
By Moon Cho, Creator of Ying & Yang Living