Tag Archives: fear

To paraphrase…


It’s been a while.

Did you miss me?

Right, I have some instructions for you:

1) Turn off the lights, close the curtains, close your eyes. Maybe even put some headphones on.

2) Turn up the volume, press play and… listen. Really listen. To every word.

And now, for the sake of clarity, here they are, those words:

Joni Mitchell


There is so much here. So much said between the lines and try as I might (and I have begun to a gazillion times) my efforts to paraphrase just sound trite.

So, in a nutshell:

1) You look at the world through fresh eyes, and it looks amazing. You dream. Big. You are filled with optimism. It’s a rainwashed street, shiny and fresh. It’s a blank canvas, full of promise. It’s castles in the air.

2) You are dealt a blow. Given a lesson. You are sobered up. Fast. You grow up. Your world becomes real. You challenge your beliefs. You change your perspective. And it hurts. Hell, it really hurts.

3) You emerge from that cave.  You understand now that it isn’t what you dreamed it was. But, and here’s the thing, it isn’t what you thought you learned it was either. In fact, you don’t really get it. You just know what it isn’t. Your eyes are open, but – now – so is your heart. And your mind. And you have lost so much. But… hey. Look. You have gained so much, too. It’s okay. Let it go.

So, look back at what you believed, at that younger, more naive and innocent you, with fondness. It wasn’t all wrong. And you know? It got you to where you are now 🙂

And, as I heard Wayne Dyer say the other day:

So many things that I did in my life, I look back and think that I would never do those things today. And yet all of my past actions have contributed to helping me be the man I am today. Say to yourself, “I had to be that person and I’ve learned from him (or her).” Forgiving yourself is every bit as important as forgiving other people. You did the best that you could, given the conditions of your life, and you can’t ask any more of yourself or of anyone else.


Joni Mitchell. I salute you.


My Two Wolves

I’m sure this story isn’t new to many of those reading this. But it bears repeating since, like so many things in this adventure called life, it is just a strand of the tapestry that has recently taken a more discernible form in my consciousness.

So here it is:

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life.

“My child, there is a battle raging inside us all. It is between two wolves.

“One is Evil – It is anger, fear, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

“The other is Good – It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

The grandson thinks about this for a minute or two.

“Which wolf wins?”

“The one you feed.”

It’s simple, isn’t it?

But, like so many things of such apparent simplicity, although 1) it’s true, 2) it’s much more easily said than done. Partly because the battle isn’t confined to an arena within ourselves. And ye gods, it’s a tough enough battle when it is confined to that arena.

Before I go any further, I’m not talking here about good and evil. There is no evaluation or judgement in what I am trying to say. What has become abundantly clear to me is that so much human relationship goes wrong when the relating is fear-based, and love is forgotten.

There is of course, the moment you start talking about love, a very real danger of sounding like a blissed-out hippie (which is no bad thing in itself, incidentally 😉 ) I mean, the Beatles, man. They said it, right? “All you need is love”? And YES! I want to shout. It’s TRUE! And if everyone is operating from the same field, removing ego from the game, without becoming a doormat (another fine balance) then there’s nothing to fear. You’re safe to love, and to be loved.

Trouble is, as I see it, if one person is operating from love, and the other from fear, the wolf driven by fear will keep on, teeth bared, until one of you backs down. Usually Love, because Fear will just continue attacking, for fear of being attacked. At which point, after repeated attempts to stop the fight, a few bite-marks and battle-scars acquired, Love shrugs his shoulders, patches up his wounds, and whispers (inaudibly, to Fear) “When you’ve lost your snarl, retracted your teeth and claws, I’ll be here. Until then…”

It seems to be another truth that people will suspect you of operating as they do. Their prediction of your response is based upon the way they would respond in the same circumstances. And if you are driven by fear, then attack is your predominant modus operandi – kill or be killed – and you will expect attack from everyone else, regardless of the wolf they feed. You feed fear, so you expect everyone else to.

It is a very difficult thing, eschewing fear and embracing love. (It is actually also proving rather difficult to talk about without sounding… oh, I don’t know, trite, or naive, or as though you have all the answers – hah!) Maybe it’s something you can achieve once and for all. Eventually. When you attain enlightenment. 🙂

But for most of us, it is a battle we are invited to on a daily basis. And the most important thing I have learned about this fightevery single time it comes around, is:

The more you feed love, the stronger it becomes.

And fear? Well, it just kind of ceases to matter….




Synchronicities abound once again.

I hear something.

I like it.

Maybe I make a note of it.

I move on.

It snags my attention elsewhere, in a new guise.

And I smile to myself, grateful for the signpost. 🙂


So, (you might be forgiven for thinking you’ve read this sentence before) I was listening to Wayne Dyer: Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life. At times of increased stress / distress, I find his gentle voice and helpful interpretations of Lao Tzu’s Tao Teh Ching have the power to ground and balance me more quickly and efficiently than I can manage alone.

He quoted Henry David Thoreau, including the line from the photograph above, and it got me thinking.

It’s all about worry, really, isn’t it?

And, like all ‘spiritual tenets’, voicing it aloud puts you in danger of being thought naive. But I’ve long given up caring about others’ opinions of me – that one is a lesson well learned (remember our mantra? “What you think of me is none of my business“) 😉

While you are forming in the womb, after you are born, in your early months as a baby, you don’t worry. You’re not concerned where your next meal is coming from, or if it’s coming at all. You don’t lie awake at night hoping you’ll still have a roof over your bed the following night. Frankly (and sadly) even if you are born into a horrendous situation, you just accept. You expect your next meal to arrive when you’re hungry and, for the majority of us reading this post (and the person writing it), it does.

If you translate that to your life now, the vast majority of us, again, have made it – we’re still here; nothing we spent hours, days, weeks, months or even years worrying about actually killed us. We wake up to embrace, fight, love, struggle, soar, work through another day. The things we wasted so much now worrying about, have become a then we can barely even remember.


But there is more to it even than that.

When you’re a baby, and your hunger is being alleviated through the next meal that didn’t fail to arrive, and your tummy is full, you turn your head away. You don’t stockpile your food in case the next meal doesn’t come. You don’t demand more, regardless of those around you who are also hungry, simply because you believe that your needs are greater than anyone else’s.

And then a friend posted this (click to read it):

greed2I love this guy’s intensity. 🙂

He’s right of course. We all need just what we need to survive, in comfort is nice but not necessary; in luxury is fortunate, but not necessary. The pressure we put on ourselves in desperate pursuit of the ‘more’ that we feel we need can only lead to suffering. We lose sleep. Our health – both physical and mental – suffers. Our relationships fail.

Is it worth it?

I remember listening to another of my favourites – Jack Kornfield – some time ago. He told this story (cut very short here):

Two friends attend the funeral of a wealthy man.

One whispers to the other:

“How much did he leave?”

His friend, visibly surprised, replies:

“Why, everything of course!”

Follow your path, keep your integrity, work steadily towards your goal, and you will be okay.

Finally, for today, this too is one of my favourites (there is some debate about who this quote should actually be attributed to, but I struggle to care about that either – it’s the meaning that is important after all):

the-endPeace out 😉 x


I’m constantly amazed by the way life works.

In awe, really.

I’ll start as I so often do: a few things have been tumbling around my head lately 🙂

I suppose what it really is is an amalgamation, a sort of alchemical process by which several truisms, so often bandied about, posted on facebook (guilty as charged) and generally thrown casually into conversation that they have become cliches, have all become one big ole realisation somewhere deep down. Like dried yeast in warm water, it has bubbled up and popped on the surface of my awareness just in the last day or two, and I’ve been trying to find a way to express it.

Putting it into words is tricky – it’s much more a feeling, or… not even that… a kind of new part of what I have come to know, I suppose. Eek, you see? I’m already tripping over myself! I guess I’ll start by listing the four main components of this one new whole:

1) Orange Juice

This is the patently obvious truth that if you squeeze an orange, the only thing you’re going to get out of it is orange juice. You can’t squeeze it and expect a sparkling Pinot Grigio, or a glass of milk. In just the same way, if someone squeezes you, you can only react with something that is already inside you. Or, put another way, you can’t give something you haven’t got.

2) Hatred and Love

“Hatred cannot cease by hatred, but by love alone is healed.” Originating from the Buddha and used by such noble fellow beings as Gandhi and Martin Luther King.

3) Fear

Fear paralyses. Fear of the future (and what is a ‘What if…?’ if not fear of a future calamity?) is a waste of the present, leads to negative, defensive and angry pre-emptive behaviour, escalates animosity, perpetuates hatred… And the rest!

4) Boundaries

Accept no abuse. Value yourself more than that. You would not sit by and watch someone you loved being abused, so why allow it for yourself?

In some way or another all of these lessons have been kneaded and melted and moulded and shaped into a single way of being, of looking at myself and the world of my fellow human-beings.

First off, eliminate the fear and hatred, both of which we are all too easily seduced by. Like pretty much everyone else I have known the paralysis of fear, and I can categorically say it served no purpose whatever, neither in preparing me for what I had to face, nor in helping through it. We live through what we live through. We take the lessons from those situations that they had to teach us. And we carry them into the next.

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”

– Helen Keller

Or indeed:

“I’ll tell you a secret about fear: it’s an absolutist. With fear, it’s all or nothing. Either, like any bullying tyrant, it rules your life with a stupid blinding omnipotence, or else you overthrow it, and its power vanishes in a puff of smoke. And another secret: the revolution against fear, the engendering of that tawdry despot’s fall, has more or less nothing to do with ‘courage’. It is driven by something much more straightforward: the simple need to get on with your life.”

– Salman Rushdie

The point I am trying to get across is this: if you can drive fear and hatred out of your heart (and I am not suggesting for a moment that a) this is easy or b) I have cracked it), then when you are squeezed they cannot come out. And if they cannot come out, there is more chance of healing both at a personal and a universal level. But this, too, is an affirmation of healthy boundaries. Because if there is no longer fear and hatred inside you, and you are squeezed (abuse is attempted), and a compassionate response has no discernible good effect, you can walk away with your boundaries intact and your inner life undisturbed. Nor, happily, are you likely to have made the situation worse. We cannot control others or their reactions, after all: only ourselves.

It’s all part of the process, and there are no shortcuts, but each milestone is an enormous liberation, containing enough lightness to propel you to the next. I’ve listened to a few of my favourite gurus today: Dr Wayne Dyer and Jack Kornfield being two of the most influential in the help with shaping my thoughts. Jack Kornfield described his return from years away, meditating and practising as a Buddhist monk. His mind was trained, he was an unflappable spiritual being… Until he came back to the States and discovered that he was really rubbish at relating with his fellow human beings. So his message must be that it’s all well and good understanding what this Practice is, what these lessons are, the path of least suffering, and it’s pretty easy to get a hold of, excel at even, when you are alone in a room, or meditating, or…

But using it in everyday life – there’s the challenge!


A Light in the Darkness


I saw this text the other day and it struck a chord.

And got me thinking.

I’m not a believer in ‘fate’ as such, in its simpler definition. I don’t believe that on a certain day at a certain time you are destined to meet a certain person. Nothing quite as prescribed as that.

But I do believe that we are all here with something specific to learn in our ever-onward quest to be the best we can be, heading toward that ever-elusive enlightenment, following our path. And each of us is born into this life with specific challenges to overcome and learn before we can take the next step, climb the next ladder-rung. But I should make even that a little clearer. It’s all about energies, really. You’ll be born into a particular type of family, with a particular type of energy, in order to figure it out. And in not figuring it out, you’ll carry it with you into the world, where you will attract more people and situations who will challenge you to figure it out. And in avoiding those people and situations, you’ll encounter yet more who will challenge you to figure it out. Keep avoiding, keep encountering.

Until you figure it out.

And it isn’t going to be easy. In fact, shining that light into that dusty old corner will probably be one of the hardest things you’ve ever had to do, because you will find your own ego there, staring back at you, and you will have to face it, and then let it go.

But however hard it is, it is made all the harder in the avoiding.

Fear, too, has been pottering around my mind the last few weeks. The way it prevents us from taking the next step, following our hearts, evolving as human beings, as souls. And, of course, the two go hand in hand. There are, I believe, two types of fear that stop us taking the action we need for our souls to evolve. The first is the human fear: what will everyone else think? And the moment you stop caring what everyone else thinks is the moment you are released from that fear. The second is the soul fear of what we will find in the dark that stops us shining the light in there. But if we don’t shine that light, then we simply continue to live in fear. And only the development of faith in the process, and then taking its leap, will drive out that fear.

So, to live without fear, your light must be shone.

First inwards, where you can face yourself, and then outwards, for the world to see.

Self-Protection and Healthy Boundaries

I apologise for the radio silence on the meditation challenge. Life events have overtaken the priority to document. But it is ongoing and mostly very successful 😉

I have just had another very powerful lesson. Or wake-up call, if you will.

It always amazes (and, after the event, sometimes a long time after the event, amuses) me, the way the universe throws at you precisely the lesson you need.

The lesson today is healthy boundaries.

I have endured yet another  round of bullying by email. This one has been sustained for three days so far. Now, if this were someone with whom I had a mere passing acquaintance, I would not have allowed it to drag out for as long as it has or to affect me as emotionally as it has. I would simply have walked away. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, on any subject, including me. However, I do not have to endure those opinions being foisted upon me. As I have said before, and more than once, if the person next to you keeps punching you in the face… walk away! (Of course, there will then be plenty of conjecture and judgement about your motivations for walking away, but this, again, is opinion. It need affect you no more than the original attempt at  abuse).

Okay, that’s clear, then? Receive abuse – walk away.


But what if the abuser is someone you love? Someone who for a long time was close to you, whose opinion you used to hold in high regard, whose love for you was an important part of your own life? This is where the real test lies. And this is not a coincidence either. In the same way that it is very easy to be a person of integrity if you never move from your armchair, it is easy to walk away from someone who holds no personal importance to you. An abusive acquaintance is easy to shake off. An abusive loved one can have you hanging on far longer than you should, allowing yourself to be subjected to far more than you should – it feels too much like giving up, and anyway, shouldn’t love conquer all? – with the ultimate danger of being emotionally, spiritually and physically exhausted and damaged. Your spirit requires protection, and your human being clings to an unreality. The human part of you finds it enormously difficult to detach from the dream. Because hoping that systematic abuse will change with words is pie-in-the-sky. An inability to accept reality can only bring suffering. We all know it deep down.

(And on top of that, as an important aside, where dehumanisation occurs, there can be no hope.)

There are several lessons I have been gifted over the past few years, and when I use the word gifted, I mean it sincerely. The process of learning has been inordinately difficult, and painful, but the lesson itself has set me free. Every time.

These are they (and regular readers of this blog will already be familiar with them):

1. What you think of me is none of my business.


It means nothing.

Nothing at all.

Whether the opinion is good or bad. After all, isn’t it a little ridiculous to attach importance to bad opinion and disbelieve good opinion? Or vice versa? It is not important what others think of you. What is important is what you know of yourself. If that is firmly rooted in truth and reality, then all other opinion is utterly irrelevant.

2. Nobody can protect you but yourself.

Your boundaries are important. They must be strong enough to keep the negativity out, but porous enough to let the love in. It is important to examine them carefully:

Are your boundaries so weak that you will let anyone who chooses walk all over you? Then you need to redraw them. And self-love is the only way. If you love and respect yourself enough, you will disallow the abuse. A useful exercise here is to ask yourself how you would feel if someone were behaving this way towards a child, perhaps your own child. You would not allow it to happen, would you? So why would you let it happen to you? You – your precious spirit, your gentle inner core – are just as in need of looking after as anyone else. Don’t just say it, believe it. Feel it.

Are your boundaries so strong that you will not let anyone or anything in? You do not let negativity into your life, but you do not let love in either? Then you need to tackle your fear. Why are you afraid to let anyone in? Only you can answer that, but until you do, you will continue to feel lonely, afraid and joyless.  It is not easy. It takes faith. And the first requirement is faith in yourself and your ability to protect yourself if the walls are more permeable.

Healthy boundaries can help end unhappiness and suffering.

Sometimes, asserting a healthy boundary can be terribly simple. It can take a conversation, during which you (calmly and without evaluation) explain that you are uncomfortable with a situation or behaviour. It is not acceptable to you. With luck, you will be heard, the relationship adjusted and the healthier for it.

“I don’t like it that you keep punching me in the face.”
“Oh god! Sorry! I didn’t think. I’ll stop.”

Everybody happy.

But sometimes, it isn’t that simple. You can put the puppy back on the mat a thousand times, but to no avail. This kind of exchange usually ends something like this:

“I don’t like it that you keep punching me in the face.”
“But I’m doing it because I love you.”

I have quoted Wayne Dyer before, and he is by no means the only person to have voiced this belief, to which I adhere strongly and with personal experience to support it. If you cannot say no *within* a relationship, you may have to say no *to* the relationship. It is not failure. It is putting yourself before the abuse. Put like that, it’s a no-brainer, isn’t it?

Sometimes, with deep regret and sadness, the only option is to walk away.

Day 14: Fear

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”
― Marie Curie

It would appear that no sooner has one insight come and punched you in the nose than another, while your hands are cupped around your face, swipes you around the back of the head… I speak, mostly, with my tongue in my cheek.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been pretty anxious for as long as I can remember. Anxiety takes so many forms, there are so many things we are afraid of in our daily lives, but today it was put to me that it is pretty much the biggest obstacle to peace and happiness (along with forgiveness, of course, as previously discussed).

What are you afraid of?

Running out of money?
Ill health?
Hidden costs?
Your children’s safety?
Being hurt?
The unknown?

Every day, every minute of every day, there lurks potential fear. What if you did run out of money? What if you do meet disapproval? I mean, really, what if? Won’t you just find a way through it? Clearly some fears are of things far more beyond our control than others, and we have to face them anyway. But so much is just a ‘what if’?

Jack Kornfield (yes, I’m still with him, though I’m onto his “Your Buddha Nature” talks just now) made this following very good point. I sat stunned. Literally. Well… you know.. no one actually hit me over the head, but they might just as well have done.

You’re walking in the woods and you’re afraid of being chased by a bear (the fear is not of walking in the woods, so your fear is not realised now)
You’re being chased by a bear and you’re afraid it’ll catch you (the fear is not of being chased, but of being caught, so your fear is not realised now)
The bear has caught you and you’re afraid of being mauled (the fear is not of being caught, but of being mauled, so your fear is not realised now)…

… you see the point? The fear is never in the moment, it is always based on a potential future reality…

But more than that – the things we fear sometimes do come to pass (though they often don’t), and we fear them until they happen, until they are the now, at which point we survive them, and somewhere the other side of them, we’re fine. It’s still now. And, ironically, we have found something new to fear.

So, as radical as it may seem, what about giving up fear?

I’ve lived through some experiences I would never have imagined possible. But it’s now. Right now, and here I sit writing this with nothing to fear. I know I could give you a long list of things I could fear, but what’s the point? If now is all we have, if the future is a total unknown, why waste now fearing then?

What if we just made the most of now?

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
― Nelson Mandela

Or, I suppose, feel the fear and do it anyway?

Day 6: Apple Crumble and LovingKindness

Fear is the cheapest room in the house. I’d rather see you in better living conditions.

~ Hafiz

Oooh, but Day 6 started with an uphill battle…

It was a little after 5am when my bedroom door was pushed open. I have a suspicion that mothers are born with in-built springs that contract, even in sleep, at the slightest sound from their offspring. I was up and out of the door before I realised I’d been woken up.

Fortunately, it wasn’t an emergency. Just a bleary-eyed five-year old who thought it was ‘too dark’ to go to the bathroom alone. I mumbled an “Off we go, then” and kept him company till he was safely tucked up again.

Trouble is, it’s tricky getting back to sleep at that time of the morning, isn’t it? I’m guessing that this is one of those times that learning to meditate is its own reward. Because before you’ve mastered it (and I surely haven’t yet), this is the time of the night when your mind decides to take the driving seat. Everything you are worrying about; worrying about happening, worrying about forgetting, worrying about not happening; jostles for position at the forefront of your mind, even while your mind itself is, to no avail, shouting at them all to STOP! I need to SLEEP!

So it’s a tired day. But, to put it in context, not nearly as tired as, say, the weeks (or months) it takes until your newborn decides to sleep through the night. You know… perspective!

But tired days are often days filled with mini-frustrations, too. You know, you slave over a hot stove and produce a delicious homemade risotto and your little one refuses point blank to eat it, even though porridge is his favourite food, and it’s not so very different, right? And then he completely wolfs the apple crumble his daddy made. Harumph! 😉

Fortunately, though, the threatening rumbles of distant thunder stayed distant, and after the children’s tea (which seems to be the ideal time) and before their bedtime, while they were winding down (or winding each other up, in some cases), I carried myself off for today’s meditation.

I leaned on Jack again. And today he was talking me through Lovingkindness Meditation. It’s hard to explain this, but although really all I did was listen to the theory of lovingkindness meditation, there is just something about the way he talks that opens your heart in preparation, calms you, steadies you. I came away as though I had had half an hour of complete, uninterrupted, focused meditative peace.

Truly, it was more food for thought, too. He explained that lovingkindness meditation is taught as an ‘antidote to fear, and anger, and confusion. And a closed heart.’

And that makes sense to me. Fear, anger and confusion… they constrict your heart, don’t they? If you close your eyes and think about the physical reactions brought about by those emotions, doesn’t it actually feel as though your heart is being squeezed, just a little? If you live your life in fear – which could just as easily be called anxiety – then you won’t allow love in. And people are afraid of so much, from the smallest things that appear utterly insignificant to their fellow human beings, to the biggest which, I suppose, is death. And that’s pretty significant too. You worry till you die? Doesn’t that seem to you a crazy way to ‘endure’ this life we’ve been gifted?

So, if the antidote to that kind of fear-laden doom is love, what do we have to lose? Which is pretty much verbatim what I said to a doom-laden son this afternoon. He had a list as long as your arm of perceived injustices. It’s so hard, at that tender age, to understand how easy it would be just to let them go. So I settled for
“Just try to be kind… I mean, what have you got to lose?”

In the meantime, my head and heart are full of Jack Kornfield’s words. In his soft, gentle, loving voice, he said:

The evocation of lovingkindness is what matters..
…and in the end of our life, when we look back, what matters is very simple:
“Did I love well?”

Attachment to Fear

Last night I watched a film called “9”. It is, ostensibly, a children’s film, but I liked it so much the first time I saw it that I bought it on Blu-ray and watched it all over again.

For those who haven’t seen it, and without wishing to spoil it if you intend to, it is set in a post-apocalyptic world and revolves entirely around the adventure of a group of… I suppose ‘dolls’ is the best word to describe them… made by a long-dead inventor. I don’t want to include any spoilers here, so I shall just say that each of them is imbued with his own particular characteristics.

On a second viewing, though, there was one character who really stood out for me. He was dressed, rather symbolically, in a very ecclesiastical fashion – tall hat (rather Bishop-like), long cape, staff with crook (the religious overtones were implied rather than explicit, but very obvious) – and had a side-kick who would be better described as a henchman, to do his dirty work and strong-arm everybody into line. He was the ‘leader’ because, in his own words, “Somebody has to be in charge!” and spent the majority of his time telling those whose opinions differed from his that they were wrong; his orders were given in the form of directives intended to keep everybody safe, but he wasn’t beyond putting others directly in danger’s way if he felt they were getting a little too wayward and independent in their thinking: those who dared to challenge him were banished, not overtly, but irrevocably.

He had an odd effect on me. The first time I saw the film, I felt anger and righteous indignation. But last night… Last night I felt pity, compassion, sympathy.

Because the one word that kept repeating in my head was ‘fear’ (which I touched upon when I wrote about Attachment). He controlled the others using fear, by invoking fear of himself, of the unknown, of the terrifying atrocities that may befall them if

But more than that, he was consumed by fear . It controlled him. Unconsciously terrified that releasing his fear may remove his power; fear of the unknown, fear of losing power, fear of change, fear of being ‘different’, fear of not being different enough, fear of not being in controlfear… Fear is such fodder for the ego. It is the ego that tells you you’re important, more important than anyone else, know better than anyone else, are more entitled than anyone else. And fear is the perfect tool for convincing others, and yourself, enough to keep you in that position of ‘authority’.

And fear is, in my opinion at least, one of the saddest states in which to live, and yet one in which so many do without the slightest awareness of it.

What is there to be afraid of?