"Aren't you afraid?"
As you might imagine, over these years of pilgrimage around the country, I am asked this question a lot.
Recently over dinner with a teenager and her mom, this question came up again. My reply, "I am not walking through a world, I am walking through God."
If a thought or feeling that my mind might identify as "fear" arises, my joy job is to give it to God. Not to overcome a perception of a fear thought or feeling by "being brave." This is a vital distinction. It is essential to not fear fear. Sounds easy, but our feeling-body may still respond as if there is something to fear. Simply let whatever arises be. It will dissolve into peace, and one day into the awareness of sustained inner peace because we no longer trust anything else within. This takes as long as it takes.
Seeing every encounter as Divine is essential. Trusting in the Divinity of all that is wakes us up because it reveals what has always been true. All is One is a fact, whether or not human perception perceives this. So, by doing what to the mind or to the person-self may seem impossible (i.e., seeing all as Christ and not believing fear), blocks to our true awareness of everyone's radiance, including our own, becomes known. And awakening fully beyond fear perception is closer than we might imagine.
If you are drawn to invest a moment, gently be. Quietly, whether or not there is external noise or thoughts arises. Now, gently notice the difference between "being brave" and giving a thought or feeling to the Light/God/the I AM/whatever description of God suits your belief system. Children understand immediately what it means to give a less than peaceful or uplifting thought or feeling to God. We naturally understand this as well.
Why wouldn't we want to overcome fear? It sounds reasonable.
Our lives are filled with the miraculous. Some of the miracles we barely notice. Others are extraordinarily hard to miss. A hard to miss moment in my life came in 1992 when I heard a voice that said, "Get A Course in Miracles." I was alone in a house I had been renting, walking across the living room. The voice was clear and unmistakably present.
Ten years prior while perusing the bookstore at the Edgar Cayce Foundation's Association for Research and Enlightenment in Virginia Beach, I learned of the existence of the Course. One look inside, and, while I could tell it was probably wonderful, it was a huge book filled with Biblical language. While I knew Jesus was real, my childhood experience with religion had been unpleasant. The blue covered tome was promptly returned to the shelf. But, when I heard the voice in 1992, there was no question. The book would be purchased and absorbed. It confirmed every intuition I had ever had, and went far beyond.
In the Course, (see http://acim.org or other sides, or the myriad of books, videos for the story of how A Course in Miracles came into existence), Jesus explains in no uncertain terms why it is essential to trust Love, not fear, no matter what our mind or the world might be sharing with us.
Recognizing fear and surrendering it is essential. It is our denial of fear regarding unconditioned Divine Love and what we really are that actually leads to all the pain and suffering experienced in this world. The deeper one goes into the mind a core fear of Divine Love is experienced. It is essential to let Love heal the mind, rather than resisting or fighting fear, which literally makes it feel real. When we feed our Light, our belief, to anything, it grows like a radiant flower. Flowing fear energy to fear energy by focusing on it and voila, it sure does seem real.
Have you ever never tried or stopped doing something you knew you were meant for because fear arose, doubt thoughts, feelings of fear? Has your inner knowing life joy trajectory ever been halted because you trusted fear?
My first pilgrimage attempt was stopped because I had not trusted my intuition. Just before leaving on the walk, I spent time with a deeply fear-believing soul. (Bless them. This is not about being a victim of someone else's fear. It is a moment of great enlightenment when we know that the energy is being experienced, so it must be something we are resonating to or it would have no effect on us whatsoever.)
The vibration of fear was intense and grew to astounding proportions. It would be easy for me to sketch this visually to convey the palpable energy.
Fantastically, I knew exactly what was happening. By not trusting Divine Love, the vibration of fear would halt the walking pilgrimage for the moment.* Because I went against my inner guidance to walk the pilgrimage, for about a year, it was as if I was living in the energy wake of an off-course comet.
While this circumstance of not walking at the time may seem like a mistake, Divine Love uses everything. We can be anywhere, in any moment, noticing whether we are trusting either Divine Love or fear. Thanks be to God, the alchemy of not being aligned with our Inner Light keeps niggling, in my experience anyway.
"It has already been said that you believe you cannot control fear because you yourself made it, and your belief in it seems to render it out of your control. Yet any attempt to resolve the error through attempting the mastery of fear is useless. In fact, it asserts the power of fear by the very assumption that it need be mastered. The true resolution rests entirely on mastery through love." (ACIM Text Chapter 2, Section VII: Cause and Effect, Paragraph 4)
Jesus goes on to explain, "In the interim, however, the sense of conflict [vibration of fear] is inevitable, since you have placed yourself in a position where you believe in the power of what does not exist [fear]." He also says, "Confidence cannot develop fully until mastery has been accomplished."
Giving to God whatever arises in the world and inside ourselves that seems to distract us from Divine Love, and trusting our inner guidance regardless of thoughts and feelings in this world where we think our physical forms and fear-based, guilt and shame/blame thoughts, beliefs and feelings are literally coming from, releases our Light from identifying with such thoughts, feelings, beliefs and limitation-conditioning.
Crossing the country on foot was a one moment, one foot in the illusion of time, Divinely Loving what is real, and noticing what arose that was not real and believing, having faith in being in Peace.
* Every instant, every moment of life is a pilgrimage to awakening to what we really are.