How to Break the Loop of Our Destructive Patterns

When we’re afraid, we often find ourselves caught up in habitual ways of responding that fail to bring us the relief we seek. “To keep repeating a baleful pattern without recognizing that we are caught in its loop is one of life’s greatest tragedies; to recognize it but feel helpless in breaking it is one of our greatest trials; to transcend the fear of uncertainty, which undergirds all such patterns of belief and behavior, is a supreme triumph.” In a beautiful response to Vincent Van Gogh’s 1884 letter to his brother on fear and risk-taking, novelist Nicole Krauss sheds light on how rather than being governed by our fears, we can recognize the opportunity to step outside of them and ultimately overcome them.