Nothing to Fear in Fear Itself

Sometimes what we really fear is feeling afraid. In this short passage, Vernon Howard explains that there is nothing to fear in fear itself.

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Isn’t it marvelous to be in a place where you can be just as scared as you actually are? All those hidden suppressed tremors, shakings, looking around at the world with frightened eyes, all that does not have to be concealed here.
Where you live outside of this room it is demanded of you that you pretend that your shaking is not there and you’re given exact scripts and stage directions for faking it throughout the whole day …and too bad, when we were younger and didn’t know any better, we took the script and learned it perfectly.

All that will stop, and you can stop it right now. Let me give you a new definition of one form of naturalness. Isn’t naturalness desirable? Artificiality is undesirable isn’t it?

One definition of naturalness is to be as scared as you are without concealment, without fighting it, without pretending, without denying it.”

from a talk given 1/17/1986

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Weekly Exercise

“It is your recognition of the hurtful voices that breaks their grip and drives them away.

…At bedtime, recognize the chattering voices that try to rob you of restful sleep.”
-Vernon Howard Freedom from Harmful Voices

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5 Comments

  1. Gina on October 22, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    I am looking forward to having this exercise to work with today and onward. Apparently, this person (Gina) can’t be reminded enough! Thank heaven for Vernon Howard’s remarkably compassionate effort! He has left us with a profound legacy of life-saving books and lectures …all tremendous methods for breaking our ill habits and restricting chains.

  2. Lisa Hunter on October 23, 2018 at 3:00 am

    Sometimes when I’m feeling afraid of something, could be anything, I say; ‘Go ahead and give me your worst.” It always gets a little worse and then goes away, because darkness cannot stand the light of consciousness on it.

  3. Steve on October 23, 2018 at 3:04 am

    Running, a life of running, running away from undesirable inner states, catching your breath only to be on the run again. Vernon Howard says you don’t have to run anymore. What a sensible thing to do, which is turning around and seeing what has been chasing you. Is it a giant spider or some boogieman or fear or anxiety? When you begin to start to face whatever is chasing you, you find out it’s only your wild imagination. Yes, It’s you chasing you. Real magic is realizing that you have been driving yourself batty and you simply don’t have to do this anymore. Relief. Now you can start enjoying your day.

  4. Melodie Machovina on October 23, 2018 at 5:05 am

    This is a great reminder to not concern yourself over your past. I always think that in order to be a “good” student, I have to feel bad for mistakes I make itp have made. Vernon teaches that we just have to see that we are wrong and stop right there. See we are afraid and that calls on the help we need.

  5. Leo on October 23, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    Naturalness is desirable. I love the statement Vernon Howard makes because it’s true. Isn’t it nice to be natural! I’m so glad to be told I can be scared without fighting it, and this is natural.

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