How many of our choices in life are driven by fear? Not real fear but irrational fear. A friend of mine who's pregnant spent whole Sunday bugging her husband what he would do if she is to pass away from her upcoming c-section. She's a healthy woman with no reason to be concerned. For her, she blamed it on her hormonal change and laughed it off the next day. For many of us, we cannot explain the fear. When it hit us, we are paralyzed. Another friend of mine did not want to put up her hand for a bigger role at work for fear she will not perform even though she is the most competent candidate for that position.
I've had many instances in life where I let fear take the rein. In hindsight, many of the fears are irrational. It's similar to thinking a rope is a snake and refusing to believe it's a harmless rope instead choosing to see a snake in the rope.
According to Swami Chidanand Saraswati in his book Drops of Nectar, "The root cause of fear is distrust. We have been betrayed, injured an abused. We decide the world cannot be trusted". How do we then learn not to live in fear? He advises that "a calm, serene, wise understanding of the situation, coupled with undying faith, is what is needed.". After all, "no tragedy has ever been prevented by fear".
The Serenity Prayer says it all,