This line was said to me again yesterday - and more than once too!
At the time, I considered it a bit of a throwaway line you know. A sort of patronising absolute that I "should" take heed of.
The only problem with it is that I don't really get what it actually means to be "fearless" as such.
I'm about to do some "thinking in words" here... a sort of emergent word play in trying to understand the nature of being fearless. Bear with me! :)
Obviously, "Fearless" is an all-encompassing term for a state of mind; an attitude that approaches life in a particular way.
But what KIND of way?
Much of my psychology operates from the basis of Fear. It's so pervasive and all-encompassing as to seem to be a completely impossible lens to remove, as if it were a benign tumor so embedded in my brain as to be far too dangerous to excise by the surgeons scalpel.
It will have to be shrunk over time using alternative methods.
But what does it mean for someone - who apparently seems to naturally operate in life from the root base that is Fear - to become literally, fearLESS?
What kind of attitude and personality, demeanor and temperament does one display when they're being Fearless?
Fear can be a very healthy attribute. Human beings are wired for a Flight or Fight response deep in the primitive brain stem. Fear allows our senses to be heightened and become acutely aware of our surroundings, enabling us to make split-second choices on how to respond in any number of perceived threatening circumstances. Much of fear is a second guess of what the near future holds based on a myriad of beliefs about the present moment.
The problem with fear is that it can become a self repeating pattern of behaviour that begets other behaviours which come out as either self-defeating, humiliating, limiting and just damned inelegant.
Inelegant I get! If there is one thing I absolutely understand, given my propensity for vanity, it's Elegance.
Elegance: the refined inner beauty of the soul; the understated power of presence; the inherent and beautiful aesthetic of character; humility without self-deception or defeatedness; grace and good humour in dangerous times; perspicacity and awareness. Quite simply....the essence of being Lovely in the midst of a pile of poo!
Ahhh! Now I see what it means to be Fearless!
It's not showing a lack of fear at all...but it is showing gracious courage in the midst of things that might be feared!
It's not so much Confidence as Assurance, that what will be - will be - whatever is meant to be - and a "Damn but I'm gonna give it a go anyway, so to hell with the consequences!" Elegantly speaking of course!
To be Fearless then, is take fear and use it to your advantage, to renegotiate fear from a different set of mind rules than the monster has created in your soul for itself. It's a letting go and flowing into the future, despite Fear. Ergo, the fear tumor is shrunk over time as you rise up inside of yourself and believe you have it in you to take Life on board and do it anyway, with dignity, grace and good humor! :)
Instead of pacing on the side of the river bank moaning about the consequences of drowning, should one swim its width, it's, instead, taking a big breath and plunging gracefully and determinedly into the cold water and swimming (given of course that one has learned to actually swim mind you)... to the other side anyway, accepting that you might drown...perhaps!....possibly!.... maybe!
OR, you might decide instead, that getting across the river requires a different strategy altogether. So, you create other options in your mind that you can act upon to get to the other side of the river!
Fear is a kind of laser focus that heightens the awareness from A SINGULAR PERSPECTIVE! Fear sees things through a problematic lens. It focuses on the results of distorted perceptions emphatically asserting their validity and truth. It's singular in that mindset. It won't let up on it if you arent' aware of that fact. Fear cons you into believing that what you have right here and now is potentially going to do you a great deal of harm within a given set of parameters that only Fear thinks it has the inside scoop on!
If you chill out long enough and re-focus that copious grey mind of yours on the problem at hand and imagine other solutions (not other problems et al)...fear tends to back off in the face of that kind of elegant skill. Letting go of the fear isn't letting go of it in the literal sense, it's a sort of casual gentle smirking within the heart and a sneaky defiance to not hold the monster to his silly word. Elegance likes to prove Fear wrong...beautifully and emphatically.
Elegance is holding ones self in such a way that fear is not the issue but the sheer thrill of being alive is. Just for the fun of it!
Life lived in fear is a crappy, inelegant life.
Rise up then my soul and gird your spiritual loins with the desire to feel the fullness of being Alive!
This isn't arrogant confidence! This is just a bit of poise and a courageous and charming RESPONSE to the vicissitudes that a lifetime brings.