Courage Despite Fear

Ilchi Lee with a horseIn the summer of 2006, I injured my back severely when I fell off a horse. This was an accident that happened in Sedona, Arizona. The name of the horse I was riding at the time was Soo. A very smart and well-mannered horse, he was trotting along fine, when all of a sudden, he reared back and bolted ahead. It seemed that he had been really startled by something.

I lost hold of the reins and kept my body down, close to the horse, as we galloped for a long time. The moment I had just managed to grab hold of the reins, Soo threw me forward with all his might. I felt my body sailing high up into the air before it came crashing to the ground. Before I knew it, I had used a self-defense falling method that involved turning my body in the air, and I was fortunate to spare my head from injury. But I could hear a crunching sound in my lower back.

I heard the sounds of people calling me in alarm as they ran towards me. As I lay there, unable to budge, I suddenly noticed Sedona’s azure sky above me. It occurred to me that it was so deep and beautiful. Even in a dire situation in which pain was sweeping through my entire body, there was a part of my brain that felt that the sky was beautiful—our brain really is quite fascinating.

The doctor who came to see me ordered me to lie still for one month. But as soon as he was out the door, I started contemplating how I could move my body. Contrary to what I had in mind, the only thing I could do while I lay there was breathing and vibration training. I tried moving my back very gently to the left and right. The pain streaked along my spinal cord and spread instantaneously to my fingertips and toes. I cried out before I could stop myself, but I endured and kept at it.

Thanks to that, I recovered enough to be able to walk again in a few days, and use that experience to develop Brain Wave Vibration. But in a corner of my mind, there was something that kept nagging me. It was my fear of falling from the horse. The shock of falling from the horse was so great that it seemed as if my body still remembered the impact of that moment. I disliked the fear that made my body go rigid simply from thinking about the horse. When I started to think that the fear I had acquired from my fall could interfere with my other activities or my creative thought processes, I began to feel anxious as well.

In spite of dissuasion from everyone around me telling me to wait until my body was fully recovered, I went back to Soo. He slowly shied away from me with timid eyes, as if he also remembered the accident. “It’s okay. You were probably as surprised as I was,” I told him. I ran my hand along his neck, and the moment I got up on his back, as I expected, I felt my body go tense. At first I repeated mounting briefly and then dismounting from the horse. Then I got on the horse and started walking slowly. Bit by bit, I increased the speed until my fear was completely gone. I kept practicing in this way.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt famously said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Everyone has fear. We feel afraid of a future where we cannot predict every change, we feel afraid of failure, and we feel afraid of what to do if the choice we’re making at this very moment isn’t the best. But true courage isn’t about not being afraid at all, I think it’s about moving forward anyway in the face of certain fear.

One important lesson I learned from life is that fear cannot be conquered through thinking alone. Fear can be chased away only through action. Fear that you do not overcome remains, but fear that you overcome through action is transformed into strength and wisdom from a beautiful life experience.


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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Fear is truly a restrictive force on a personal level and is used subliminally to control us by political movements, right wing media conglomerates and mega corporations. These inspiring thoughts help us recognize fear and how we can respond positively.

  • Thank you for this post on “fear”. For sharing this beautiful story of overcoming and facing fear. it can be paralyzing. As in freezing us from moving forward for Fear of pain (emotional or physical), fear of failure or rejection. All fears prevent us from the vary things we love. Only when we face our fears (action), as you have so beautifully communicated… can we find JOY. I am truly grateful for Ilchi Lee.. for your sharing, for your words of wisdom through experience. You make a such a profound difference in this world.


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