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Battling fear

Once there was a young warrior.

Her teacher told her that she had to battle with fear.

She didn’t want to do that. It seemed too aggressive; it was scary; it seemed too unfriendly. But the teacher said she had to do it.


The day of the battle arrived.


The young warrior stood on one side, and fear stood on the other.

The warrior was feeling small and fear was looking big and wrathful.

They both had their weapons.


The young warrior roused herself and went toward fear, and asked:

“May I have permission to battel 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 young warrior learned how to defeat fear.


(from the book ‘When Things Fall Apart” by Pema Chödrön)