The starting point on the path of fearlessness is the discovery of fear. We find ourselves fearful, frightened, even petrified by circumstances. This ubiquitous nervousness provides us with a stepping-stone so that we can step over our fear. We have to make a definite move to cross over the boundary from fear to bravery. If we do so properly, the other side of our fear contains bravery.
We may not discover bravery right away. Instead, beyond our nervousness, we find a shaky tenderness. We are still quivering, but we are shaking with tenderness rather than bewilderment. That shaky vulnerability contains an element of sadness, but not in the sense of feeling bad about oneself or feeling deprived. Rather, we feel a natural sense of fullness that is tender and sad.
From Smile at Fear: Awakening the True Heart of Bravery, page 63. Published by Shambhala Publications