Fear something that characterises us, as we are children of a sceptical age. We are afraid of the future, afraid of poverty, afraid of unemployment, afraid of dishonour and disgrace, afraid of disease and death – it seems to me that sometimes, we are afraid of life itself!We live in fear; we work in fear; we walk in fear; we talk in fear. We move through life from one fear to another, crushed beneath the weight of a woeful existence!Fear casts its dark shadow over our lives at one time or another. We are prone to fear almost instinctively. Neither the highest nor the lowest of us is exempt from fear. The most powerful nations fear their rivals and neighbours. Politicians are afraid of losing elections. People fear for their future. Students are afraid of failing in examinations. Mothers are afraid about their children’s safety… the list is endless.Fear is at the root of all our problems. Fear gives rise to all our misfortunes. Living in constant fear saps our vital energies, leaving us too drained and exhausted to savour the joy of life. Fear paralyses the mind, even as a stroke paralyses the body. It strikes at the nervous system; it causes stress and tension. It undermines our well-being. Worst of all, it robs us of happiness and destroys our peace of mind.“The mind is its own place,” wrote Milton, “and in itself, can create a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.” The mind can create fears and phobias; it can also create security and self-confidence. If we are to live life to the fullest, we must be fearless.There are two options open to you. One is to submit to your fears, allow yourself to be overwhelmed by them, making your life miserable in the process. The other option – the wiser alternative – is to overcome your fears, with God’s help. When you do this, you achieve remarkable success that can change your life. All of us have the potential to achieve it.To become free of fear, the first step is to become aware that fear, like all other human weaknesses, is removable. It was not put into you by God. You acquired it somewhere along the way: you took it on yourself, or it was put into you by the environment in which you live. Whatever it was, fear is removable.You are not condemned to live with fear all your life. The Bhagwad Gita tells us: Be free from fear. Be fearless and have faith in the divine.The uncertainties of life have to be taken on, in the spirit of acceptance. Escape and running away are no solutions. Life demands of us that we live with courage. Without the courage to act, justice would be impossible. Without the courage to love, compassion and understanding would not exist. Without the courage to endure, faith and hope would not flourish!We must never underestimate mind-power, the power of will. Freedom from fear – as well as our own health, happiness and harmony – depends on thought-habits. Even happiness is the product of habitual right-thinking. Mental sunshine will cause the flowers of peace, joy and serenity to bloom wherever you go! Therefore, cultivate the will to be unafraid – create your own mental sunshine!Dada Vaswani
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