When I was first introduced to Richard Rohr’s writings several years ago, it was like a whole new world opened up to me. As I read more and more of his books and the daily meditations, I often found myself thinking “Yes! Of course! Why haven’t I learned or been taught that before?” But occasionally something Richard said didn’t click or make sense to me. Sometimes it could sometimes take months or more of thinking about it or hearing it again before it made sense. One of those sayings was “Live yourself into a new way of thinking.”
Facing fears is a great example of that. Tom Pawlak’s article in this issue does a great job of discussing fear. You can’t say “Don’t be afraid” to yourself and have the fear go away. Fear is (usually) an irrational feeling you can’t argue away. You have to face your fear repeatedly before it gradually fades away.
Facing our fears head on—fear of death, fear of failure, fear of being ridiculed or shamed—is a mark of maturity. Facing them, acknowledging them, and particularly sharing them in a circle of trusted brothers are ways to reduce their power and get beyond the fears. As we do this over and over—living it in our daily walk—we find that our thinking follows where our feet have led.