Our Fearless Act

What is the most Fearless Act you have done, or are doing with your life?

For some, it is in being brave in admitting their mistakes or apologising to their victims and having the decency to right their wrongs. It is in not taking the coward’s way out.

For others, getting out of bed is already fearless. Because it takes all the courage in the world for them to find that one reason to get up and face another day, instead of giving up or killing themselves. Yes, depression and mental health are real issues affecting millions of people around the world.

We really do not know what kind of battle each person is fighting on their own. It is too easy to dismiss someone as rude, awkward or a burden to society. It is easy to judge when we do not live their lives and walk in their shoes. For all we know, they are doing their damn best to just stay alive one more day.

Honestly, it is lonely out there without a support system or network. It is hard to make it on our own without families and friends who understand us, who encourage us to value and love ourselves in a positive way. Because the world can be such a cold and cruel place. People can be so superficial and apathetic.

The sad thing is that no matter how much we have advanced as a global society with all the technology, education and convenience at our finger tips, we are not getting any closer to each other. We are not becoming kinder and nicer, as human beings. There is still a lot of anger, prejudice and hatred. It’s becoming pandemic. This is a clear indication that we have a whole lot of unresolved issues at hand.

This is one of the reasons why I have started the Art of Fearless Living. It was and still remains my daily reminder, affirmation and motivation to be a better me. It was my way of helping myself cope with my own process of becoming and a channel for me to understand my issues. But I wanted to be connected with the world around me. I did not want to disengage myself from a holistic learning and growing. There is so much that I have learnt from those around me via this digital platform. And I will continue to learn, as long as I do not disconnect myself from humanity.

I know that I have not written in a long while. I had taken myself out of my personal comfort zones and lived in a most unfamiliar place. Some of you may have read or have learnt about my two-year stay at the GK Enchanted Farm, and how it has changed my life. I shall not repeat the stories in this post, but you can can read all about it here.

Personally, I believe that the work on myself is never done. The learning never stops and the darkness never leaves. I find myself breaking through different levels of realisation and understanding in each stage. I used to think that I was slow and immature. That it took me such a long time to get it. In time, I just have to make peace with the fact that my learning process is mine and I should stop beating myself up for not being at the same pace as everyone else.

To this day, I battle with all kinds of issues. At the same time, I know that I am just as guilty in causing a lot of pain and suffering to those around me. I am not a saint, nor am I purely sinner. This is another thing I had to learn to make peace with – the self-loathing and the guilt or the shame that accompanies it.

I know that I have a long way to go and much to repent for. Yet in all of this, I also have much to be grateful for. I get another chance to get it right and do better each day. As long as I do not give up on myself.

There is no free pass and easy way out. Not if I want to live authentically.
Without hiding behind a mask or facade. Without imitating this or that.
Without diminishing my own identity in any way or form.
Without suppressing my own voice, but at the same time, not denying someone else’s authentic voice.

Yes, it is a conscious choice that I have made. We are all free to make the choices we want to live with. The point is, to be happy with our decisions. If not, please do review and make a better one. A more informed one.

What I wish for myself is the same wish I hold for others.
Because freedom and happiness are not reserved only for the selected few.

Therefore, I would always maintain that my most fearless act each day is to open my heart and care even more. To truly and deeply love. UNCONDITIONALLY. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Love is not some romantic idea, or that giddy euphoric feeling. Most of the time, it is messy. It requires a lot of nurturing work and above all, COMMITMENT. CONSISTENTLY.

Real Love demands accountability and responsibility.
As much as we fear heart breaks, we are just as liable to hurt those who care about us. It is a two-way street.

It is easy to want love and to feel needed. But knowing how to love in a nurturing, responsible and respectful way is a whole different ball game.

It takes maturity, a lot of adulting and the conviction to say, “I am going to be accountable for the love and trust I am giving as well as receiving”. 

Loving and caring do not stop just because we are having a bad day. 

Are we fearless enough to be that responsible for someone’s heart?

If we are unable or are not ready to give that kind of love, then how can we demand it from someone else?

The Art of Fearless Living is about asking these kinds of difficult questions. About ourselves. Being brutally honest with ourselves. It is not meant to be comfortable or fun. We may not even enjoy it. Most likely, we won’t enjoy it. But please tell me which meaningful, healing process of becoming is ever going to be a nice scenic ride?

Isn’t it enough that we turn a blind eye, or ear, or shut down our hearts on so many things in our lives just because it makes us uncomfortable? We have done the same to people as well. Especially, if they are different from us. We shun them. How much more of our lives do we wish to contract and subtract?

Only we know how deeply unhappy we are. How painfully lonely we are inside.

Old wounds become recurring ones. New pains will be triggered by old wounds, and be cemented into deeper gaping scars. Why? Because we have unresolved issues. That is what becomes a manic vicious cycle. The same old patterns will repeat in our lives, because we are the ones replaying or rehashing them in ourselves.

The truth is, we are the ones re-activating our past traumas, reenacting the pains and suffering time after time. Allowing them to recur, haunt and taunt us. We gave them the power over us.

Hence, everything will only change when we have changed. 

There is no wrong or right answers. It is a continuous journey of un-learning, re-learning, growing, evolving and refining.

Being a Fearless Radical Optimist is about facing up to the truth about ourselves without shaming, deceiving, justifying, crucifying ourselves; and yet without self-pity. That is not to say that we get away with the wrongs we have committed. We always have to own up. We have to clean up the mess we have made. No different from when we were kids.

However, instead of fearing, have courage. Be brave about recognising the weaknesses, mistakes and flaws in ourselves so that we can improve and become better versions of ourselves. Be honest and honourable about what we are. Ultimately, it is about forgiveness and earning our own self-respect.

When we know how to forgive ourselves, we will know how to forgive others instead of shaming them or judging them.

When we know how to define our own value, we would learn how to appreciate others’ value in return, and respect their own process of becoming.

No, none of the above is easy. But it is the most healing way to a life of lasting happiness. A kind of joy that stems from peace, love and hope. The state of bliss that breeds peace of mind and allows you to be comfortable in your own skin.

At the heart of Fearless Living is LOVE.

Love for self and love for others. They are essentially the same thing.

I am with you in this journey. I am guilty of all the above as anyone else. I need to learn to love myself better, to appreciate myself better and not distrust my own wisdom. I need to let go of past shit and stop carrying old issues into my bright new present or future.

We are in it together, whether we know it or not.
Because at the end of the day, all of us just want to be happy.

So, ask yourself every single day – What is the most fearless act you are going to do today?
And then sustain your fearless radical optimism each day, moment to moment.
Remember to be kind towards yourself and with your process.
This applies to everyone, to the one sitting next to you right now. Or, the person in front of you.
We are all fighting the same battle in one way or another. We need to be kinder with one another.
We need to work together to transmute all the painful poisons into healing potions.

Become a Fearless Radical Optimist for YOU.
Because YOU REALLY DO MATTER.
Because WE EACH HOLD THE MISSING PIECE TO THE COLLECTIVE PEACE.
Because WE ARE NOT AS POWERLESS AS WE THINK.
Reclaim OUR VOICE. OUR TRUTH. OUR FREEDOM.

All my ❤️,
Shirley

Being Afraid Is Human, But Staying Afraid Is A Choice.

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