Letter of Gratitude for Fear

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image by Kyra Teppelin

Dear Fear:

Thank you for arising!  Thank you for being one of the millions of appearances floating in and out of the vast and infinite space of now.  Sometimes you have come hidden within logic, seeming to arise as a thought that needs to take action about the future.  You are such a great thespian, worthy of an Oscar.

You have fooled me into thinking I am just rationally making decisions about the future.  When you come disguised in this way, I am blind to you.  You hide within the voice of the mind and the deep caverns of the stomach and chest.  I cannot see you at all.  And yet you are pulling all the strings.  I am your puppet in that moment.  We make a great team, fooling the consciousness within myself and all others, making everyone think that I am just making clear decisions to protect myself, set appropriate boundaries, build a future . . . or (and here’s the best one) make an intelligent decision.

Through the years, you have been so good at hiding yourself that I have made millions of decisions based on you, without even knowing it.  And you have protected me, set boundaries for me, built a future for me and helped me make decisions.  You have done all of that and more and I am grateful.

But thank you each time you have revealed yourself more consciously to me.  In some moments, you have been gracious enough to arise directly in awareness so that I could peek at you, feel you, taste you, know you directly – without the veil of concepts.  You could have stayed hidden but you didn’t.  You allowed me to see you.  And in those moments, you allowed me to see just how much you have been running the show.

In a phone call one day, I found myself responding to someone’s question.  I thought I was just responding out of fearless clarity.  But you revealed yourself in that moment.  You showed me that I was responding out of you.  You gave me a chance to meet you directly in that moment and a thousand insights came flooding into my awareness about how so many responses in my life have been a result of you.  In a decision with my partner one night, you popped up again directly in awareness and it stopped me in my tracks.  I thought I was just protecting myself from him.  I thought I was just using my mind to make a decision about the household.  But in feeling you directly in that moment, the walls of separation between him and me disappeared and I found no one and nothing to protect.  And so I felt more intimately close, inseparable really, from my partner than ever before.  You are love disguised as fear.

One day I was looking for a way to fix a problem at work. I thought I was just using my intelligence to decide between several viable options.  I was so ignorant and unconscious.  Oh how you had fooled me.  I noticed you there in my stomach and I sat quietly with you.  I gave you as much space to be exactly as you are.  I loved you fully.  And you revealed that there is nothing to fear.  And in that, new options arose that were not based in fear anymore.  A great relaxation swept over me and another thousand insights came flooding in, showing me that there is nothing that I need to try to make happen.  I am already in the flow of the present moment.  I am that flow.  As you released that day, you provided me the way to allow work to happen naturally, without the toil and spin of the mind.

Most of all, dear fear, thank you for showing me that I can live without you.  Although I am so grateful for the many years of self-protection, ultimately I see that you were here to show me that there is no self to protect.  I appreciate that you come back now and then to reveal this again, when it is needed.  I am so grateful that you have arisen so often to do exactly what you need to do in any given moment.  You are not my enemy.  You were only there to protect me at first.  And then you became the doorway to freedom.  You became my way out of suffering.  You are the most loyal friend in that way, letting me dissolve into a great spacious peace and love, but only when I was ready.

Warmly, Scott

First published on Scott Kiloby’s blog


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