Searching and Fearless

by Sarah S., your NoVAtions editor

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.
-Nelson Mandela

Searching and fearless. We all know what that refers to. But the concept applies to much more than just Step Four. As overeaters we have to be fearless in a world of normals, where there are dangers everywhere. When we have a compulsive inclination we must search within ourselves to get to the root of what’s driving it, to connect with our Higher Powers, and to do whatever is necessary to keep us clean.

What trips me up is the word “fearless.” Am I really supposed to feel no fear? Imagine all the ill-conceived things people would do if they operated without fear. What if instead of trying to fear less we paid attention to fear, and used that as a sign that it’s time to be searching. Why am I feeling fear? What is it that I’m afraid of? How is fear serving me? What will truly happen if I face this fear honestly? As I give away my Step Four and feel the fear of admitting my faults to another human being, asking these questions will help give me the courage to face and live with fear… without eating over it.