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Transcending fear: Pain as your spiritual teacher

I feel blue, it’s 01.44 at night. I just came back from a party, it was fine. But emotionally it was not fine at all. I felt scared and small, it was something old but at the same time very present. “It went so well in the last couple of years”, I said to myself. I grab some water and chips and start typing, it had to go out. I don’t have a choice. This blog is about transcending fear and seeing pain as your best spiritual teacher.



On an evening like that (when fear creeps in) wise lessons disappear like snow in the sun. I was not able to take a step back, allow the feeling to be or see through my frightened ego and not identify with it. Some moments I relaxed but at other times I paralyze. My playfulness, humor or relax attitude are deeply hidden away. Do you know the scene of friends where Ross flirts with the Pizza-delivery-girl:

Well, like that.


My strength and my weakness

With a friend we talk about how you can be a good life-coach and trainer if you struggle with fear yourself. Confronting but beautiful question. Yes i something struggle with it but it so helpful for clients to see that i know (from experience!) how it is to be afraid. But more important i know how to overcome it and not run from it. It also helps to explain that we are all human and that falling back in old patrons is part of that. Life will give us enough opportunities (challenges) to do it differently anyway (nice blog about this).

The teacher Pema Chrodron is an inspiration for me, she tells openly and honestly about her painful moments. That makes her so approachable and her message so powerful. She shows us that we can do it and that everything we need is already in us. And that shit is part of live and we can learn so much from it. If we are willing and able to look honestly.

“The only reason we don’t open our hearts and minds to other people is that they trigger confusion in us that we don’t feel brave enough or sane enough to deal with. When we look clearly and compassionately at ourselves, we feel confident and fearless about looking into someone else’s eyes”. 
― Pema Chodron


Look through, transcend and let go

As a child, my negative belief ‘I’m not good enough’ started settling in. The more unpredictable the situation or relationships the more difficult it was, especially in intimate relations or (male) group dynamics. Interestingly another side of me is not afraid at all: I lived and worked for three years in Africa, in business I show guts and decisiveness (rather too much;)), and I have always dared to make my own choices. I know now that the fear does not have to disappear; seeing through, transcending it and letting go is enough. The quote below is a beautiful and at the same time painfully confronting.

You are already there!

Now for the good news! I known that I, you and the world are perfect, nothing has to change. I can just witness and see everything and let it all happen. I never really dared to fully trust this. Let’s start doing that and let happiness find us. How cool would it be to start applying some of this into our schools. Which is actually something they have been doing in Tibet for centuries.


Pain is your best spiritual teacher

According to Eckhart Tolle, pain is your best spiritual teacher and I agree with him. Afterwards you can actually be grateful about it. No, this is not spiritual denial. It is my experience that by doing this I met many beautiful people, experienced deeper happiness and I am starting to learn about the core of my being. Fear has become more manageable instead of dictating parts of my life. That is pure grace!

In short, the trick is not run from the pain (which you cannot anyway!) But to dare to see and feel it and to use it to get closer to yourself. And do not forget to do it with humor, gives the whole thing some breathing space. Also just sitting with yourself, relax with a tea or something, put on a guided meditation if you like. But that is not needed, just be with yourself for a few minutes. Let me finish with some wise advice from Eckhart Tolle: