Weekly Second Breath moments from staff, students, and guest writers

A Way out of Fear

This post is a part of our weekly email called "Presence+Practice". You can have early access to this weekly content by subscribing to our newsletter.


My husband had been losing weight. Although we had been taking more walks, I got worried when he started to cough and lose his appetite. My anxiety about his health sky rocketed. I started to envision my life as a widow. I asked him to see the doctor and to write down passwords to some accounts in case I needed them.

One night, when I could not sleep because my fear was so thick, I remembered Jesus saying: “Fear not, for I am with you.” In that instant, I was able to release my shoulders (which had been tense and up around my ears); quiet my mind ("Fear not, Ruth."); and open my heart to experience compassion toward myself, my husband, and all who are afraid of death.

By relating to my fear differently, I was finally able to fall back asleep. Spiritual practice helped me shift from being paralyzed by fear to being open to God’s Love in the midst of fear. This is the spiritual journey.


Fear, as most of us know, is an emotion that comes up when we perceive a danger or threat. It can arise in the present moment or in anticipation of a future threat. Usually, this emotion creates a whole body reaction and can incite behavioral changes such as fleeing, hiding, or freezing.

This spiritual practice gives us a way out of fear and toward abiding in God’s presence and love.


(To access the app and try out this week's Featured Practice, click here on your iPhone and here on your Android.) 

Ruth D. Anderson
Both scripture and science tell us that when we recognize what we are doing on the inside of us, we break the spell and experience what, as Donohue says, is “the depth of invitation in each moment” and what scripture calls “new creation.”
Through imagination, the stories were not just something to be studied and theologically dissected. They were to be experienced.
How do we cultivate faith, hope and love? Perhaps by hanging a tiny seed of faith, near our hearts and waiting to see what grows?
Our quality of energy infiltrated the chaos in the room and allowed us to bring whatever grace and wisdom we could bring, with God’s help, to this challenging situation.
During a training session, Sandra Smith, an Enneagram teacher and coach, said to our Second Breath team that the development of our receptivity as individuals and as a team was a most important component of our spiritual growth. She told us “everything comes to us that belongs to us if we create the capacity to receive it.”
There is a seemingly odd combination of energies working within us. We long to change and live the life God has in mind for us and yet we also resist what it might take to move in that different direction.
The fact is we are also surrounded by wonder, blue sky, blue birds, miracles and there are small acts of kindness and compassion all around. We are immersed in beauty and, in the words of Gerard Manly Hopkins, “The world is charged with the grandeur of God.”