Rev. Jessica Johansson

Rev. Jessica Johansson

“The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times” by Pema Chödrön


We all have times when we feel scared or overwhelmed – whether it’s a situation at work or difficulty we’re facing in our personal life. In her book, “The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times,” Pema Chödrön offers readers guidance on facing these fears head-on. Drawing from her own experience and teachings of Buddhism, Chödrön provides compassion and understanding as she helps us explore the places inside ourselves that scare us the most.

“A warrior accepts that we can never know what will happen to us next. We can try to control the uncontrollable by looking for security and predictability, always hoping to be comfortable and safe. But the truth is that we can never avoid uncertainty. This not knowing is part of the adventure, and it’s also what makes us afraid.”

Pema Chödrön

Too often, when we’re facing our fears, we tend to be hard on ourselves – berating ourselves for being scared or feeling like we’re not good enough. Chödrön reminds us that it’s okay to be afraid and that everyone experiences fear at some point. Instead of beating ourselves up, she encourages us to treat ourselves with kindness and understanding. This is an important message that I think we could all benefit from hearing.

Another thing I like about “The Places That Scare You” is that it’s not just about overcoming fear. Chödrön also talks about how to use fear as a tool for growth. She writes, “The truth is that we can never lose our courage because it doesn’t come from us in the first place.” When we’re able to see fear as something that can actually help us grow and learn, it becomes less daunting and more manageable.

If you’re looking for a book that will help you face your fears, I recommend “The Places That Scare You.” Chödrön’s writing is down-to-earth and relatable, and her advice is both practical and wise.

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