It is impossible
to ignore the barrier of fear in community development.
As consultants, who have individually spent up to 20
years in communities working toward sustainability,
the reality of fear as a barrier cannot be denied.
Our approach to dealing with this reality is tied to
an understanding that each moment of our lives is an
open space in which we either expand our care for people
and concern for things or shrivel in fear – fear
of the unknown; fear of competition; fear of looking
bad, not good; fear of loss – identity, money,
recognition, fame. Each moment is a definitive window
through which we greet the world with an expansive
heart or a knotted stomach.
For example, consider
the emotion of “anger” – when you
are angry you have a choice – you can shrink
away from it in fear or you can embrace it with an
open heart. Give your fear some room to breathe – surround
it with care for others – tell the truth about
it – go so far as to regard it as sacred. In
our community work, we find when people face the hard
stuff and welcome it into their lives, they become
free of it. When we show care for it just the way it
is, instead of shrinking away from it in fear, it changes
before our eyes.
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