The Path to Ultimate Enlightenment Is a Journey Through Your Worst Fears

GriefWe can argue all day over the meaning of ultimate enlightenment. We can all agree that even were we to live for a thousand years, we will never know everything. Therefore, ultimate enlightenment can’t possibly imply knowing everything.

But it might just entail knowing everything necessary for a life marked by fulfillment and wellbeing. As many have lived such lives, we know that it is a goal within our reach. We also know that achieving ever higher levels of fulfillment is a process, perhaps even a journey.

However, experience has taught us that every worthwhile journey takes us through some pretty rough patches. Among the roughest of those patches are our deepest, darkest fears. Those struggling with unconquered fears never make it to a place we think of as ultimate wellbeing.

Whatever your beliefs about religion, spirituality, or just humanistic equilibrium, there are some fears that are common to us all. The challenge to overcome those fears is universal. Here is a short list of those fears, and tips for overcoming them:

Fear, Itself

There is something to the sage expression: There is nothing to fear but fear itself. This sentiment seems to be undeniably true as we take a look at the extraordinary lengths to which people go to alleviate or avoid their fears.

The population at drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers are a testament to how far people are willing to go to drown their fears. A fever is the bodies way of fighting a virus with heat. The body will turn up the temperature, sometimes to deadly levels to fight off a big.

Intoxicating substances are like the fever that we escalate to ever deadlier levels in an attempt to find relief from the debilitating virus of fear. Just as high fevers must be medically treated, so, too, must addiction.

That’s why there is substance abuse rehab for young adults that can take into account the life circumstances and challenges unique to that demographic.

We all have fears. And many of them are justified. But the problem is seldom the challenging circumstance, and more often the debilitating fear. When fear gets the worst of you, seek help to unleash the best of you.

Fear of Rejection

Did you know that even famous people sometimes have an almost paralyzing fear of public speaking? It seems to be a universal fear with few exceptions. But there is likely a bit more going on besides being afraid to issue words in the hearing of other people. We do that all the time with little hesitation.

But public speaking entails having something to say that is worth hearing by a room full of people. It is highly likely that we fear all that scrutiny and the possibility of being rejected. That same fear is manifested with public singing, and publicly showing a work of art over which you have labored.

All of these things are expressions of yourself. We are all afraid of putting ourselves out there in a way that can be judged and rejected by others. But the only path to an enlightened state of wellbeing is to be truly known by those around us.

Part of being known is to overcome the fear of being rejected. The sooner we can be rejected by those who are not contributors to our wellbeing, the sooner we can be known and accepted by those who are.

Fear of Failure

To try and fail is a sort of rejection. If you go for a promotion at work and don’t get it, your boss rejected you. If you ask someone out only to be rejected, then that potential partner rejected you. If you open a new business and fail, in some ways, the world rejected you. At least, that is how it feels.

Fear of failure can paralyze us, and keep us from achieving our greatest happiness, as we will never try for it. But what we don’t realize is that success most often lies on the other side of failure, meaning that we have to go through some measure of failure to reach it. Failure is not the end of the road, it is an early stage of the process.

Ultimate enlightenment blazes its trail through fear, itself, fear of rejection, and the fear of failure.


Nora Charles is a freelance writer that has worked with many bloggers for several years now.

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