Knock Off Fear

We are taught to face fear and get over it. Just do it.

On the other hand, our resources are limited. We are under-powered. Fighting fear can exhaust our resources. And fear never stops coming at us, small and big.

If you are a soldier or cop, there is no alternative. You must face fear and get through it, no matter what. It’s a chosen duty. But most of us, as civilians, face fears that are intangible, delicate, tricky, long-term, ambiguous, demoralizing, lonesome, and consuming.


Fighting this kind of fear distracts us from the essential purpose of living: loving, creating, and connecting. It’s unproductive. It’s like hitting a rock with a dozen eggs.

Logically speaking, fear has a lifespan like anything else. It disappears in time. Or our memory of fear fades. Something more attractive fills our thoughts. Luck plays its role. My point is that you don’t always have to face your fear. It’s not the only way to get over it. You have options: avoid > ignore > deny > let go.

Avoid, as much as you can and as long as you can. Run away from the fear. When you stop, it is likely to bite you. Be the front-runner. Run as fast as you can. Racing with fear leaves it always behind you. Run forward. Leave it behind.

Ignore fear totally. Don’t look at it. Absolutely don’t face it. Don’t even acknowledge the presence of it. Be oblivious of it. Pull back your attention from it and shut your awareness off.

Deny your fear. Think that you have no fear. Clearly and verbally tell yourself that you don’t have fear. Think that you don’t even have room for fear in your life. Simply deny it.

When you recognize and face fear, you give it an identity. You are giving the stranger his ID card. When you accept fear, you are inviting it into your mind, giving it a room to stay. The stranger now has legitimate room to make a mess. To kick him out of your mind would take a bloody full scale war.

You have to ask yourself, “Is it worth it?”

Fear Less Love More

Given the courage to endure the cost, love is always within our reach. Fear of losing what we love only exists as an illusion in the mind, distracting us from the love we have at this moment.

With nothing to lose, fear lessens. At that point of realization, we can start loving again. We become bold enough to indulge in doing what we love, and love whom we love.

love-heart by Sang H. Kim.jpg

Do I practice what I write? Not really. But I do my best to be more mindful of what is important than what is at stake.

With less desire, I fear less. Allowing less room for fear, I find more rooms for love.

On the other hand, experiencing what fear really is like strengthens my appreciation of and yearning for love. Fear of losing what I love in fact highlights the value of love and the time given. Fear of death of loved ones, for example, brings us closer. Desperately. Facing the remaining time together here reveals what is essential in life.

By being mindful of what we do here and now, we may be able to cultivate a loving heart, worrying less. It is much better than worrying more and loving less.

When I am mindful of wanting less and love what I do, I have more faith in myself, and can totally sink into my fearless zone.

Remembrance of Seasons

Born as the son of a farmer, I was never a leader. I was a follower. Following the cows, pigs, chickens, and the rising sun.

At school’s ending, summer was a long vacation from rest.

At dawn, my dad used to pass by my room, making various coughing sound. Passing the front of the room he made long and loud coughs. Then, I could hear the footsteps of my dear four brothers running to the yard. Soon, in darkness, my dad and we five brothers dragged our feet to the rice field. Until sun down.

The sun was long in the field. Summers were everlasting. Strolling through the rice plants in bare feet, I used to wait for the clouds. With the clouds burnt by the sun in blue, blue like an ocean, I dreamed of swimming away. Swimming away from the burnt field. Away. Far far away.

Rememberance of Seasons  by Sang H. Kim.jpg

Dark like chocolate, the midsummer sun parched my dream. My feet, swollen in the wet mud, sunk deeper and deeper as the summer got hotter.

I hated farming. I hated the sun. I would do anything to run away from it.

That was then, in Korea.

I, a born follower, after coming to America, was never allowed to follow. I became a leader. Perpetually. Beyond my dreams, I attained everything I have had ever wanted. I traveled all over the world, wrote books, presented, made movies, did research, read about myself in the media, and now I am blogging!

Under the parching summer sun, as a 9 year old boy, it was fun to follow the cows, pigs, chickens, and the rising sun. I hated the sun. But I didn’t hate it that much. I actually miss it. My dad, brothers, the sun, the burning rice field. We were followers. Following something larger, much larger than us, the world, the seasons, the clouds, the sun.

Gone are those hot days in the field. Roaming the world, I wonder if I will ever know where I will end up. Born a follower, how can I stop being a leader? Now, I want to be me. The one I knew under the parching sun. The one who hated the sun. The one who dreamed of running far far away from the rice field.

Nowhere is better than following the cows, pigs, chickens, and the rising sun.