Fear makes us think, say, and do all sorts of strange things.
It warps our perspective so that everything looks, sounds, and feels different.
Fear makes life seem more hostile and threatening than it may actually be.
Where we were once confident, fear gives us doubts.
Where we were once strong, fear makes us feel weak.
Where we were once safe, fear makes us feel vulnerable.
The thing about fear, though, is that as real and paralyzing as it may seem when it grips us, fear is only a feeling.
This is not said to make light of fear’s power.
Fear is one of the most powerful forces on earth.
But, it only exists inside of us.
Fear has very little to do with what is going on in the world around us and much more to do with how we perceive, process, and respond to our environment, circumstances, and relationships.
Of course, life can be frightening, but our fear is ours, not the world’s.
It is up to us, therefore, to decide whether we want to be controlled by it or to act rationally and courageously in spite of it.
Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.
Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Kogen Dojo Self Defense Academy where he teaches Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
All photos by Robert Van Valkenburgh unless otherwise noted.*
*Robert Van Valkenburgh’s black and white photography can be seen at My Darkness To Light
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