Let’s talk about fear. Most people are afraid of something. Height, flying, open spaces, spiders, snakes, small spaces. You name it and there’s a phobia for it.
Some people fear darkness, others old age or loneliness and almost everyone is afraid of dying. Why that should be so mystifies me somewhat.
I’m not afraid of heights. The height holds little danger. Really, if you should fall, it’s the ground that will be dangerous. Flying is less dangerous than driving a car. Open spaces or small spaces are not to be feared, but I understand, how they can make people uncomfortable. Most of it is in the mind, though, which nobody can deny.
Spiders and snakes are best avoided anyway. Not all of them are poisonous, mind you, and few are out to get you. Stop watching those bloody horror movies, too, that might help.
Fear of the darkness is fear of the unknown. Possibly of blindness as well, because it makes us so vulnerable. Considering it’s the main sense with which we perceive the world, or rather, through which the world is filtered for us by our helpful brains, that fear is understandable.
Old age is something that happens to most of us, sadly not all, and is part of the rhythm of life. If you’re afraid of wrinkles stay out of the sun. Alas, right now the deterioration of the cells in our bodies is not preventable, no matter how much Q10 you take and whatever beauty products you choose.
Also, plastic surgery doesn’t prevent ageing either. That, my friends, is an illusion and the money would be much better spend.
Now, the fear of death is another story entirely. I don’t believe there’s anything to be afraid of. Again, we all face the unknown and we will face it by ourselves. It’s the most personal journey we will ever make. How each of us will face that we will have to decide for ourselves. And as far away as it may seem to most of us, it’s only a blink of an eye in the grand scheme of things. So are our lives and that is okay. Luckily we’re linear beings and our already mentioned helpful brains prevent us from worrying about this too much in advance.
Just this, though, make your peace now with whatever it is you need to make peace with. There may not be a later. Then let it go. And accept the fact that your life will end, not just know it, accept it. At least in its current form as far as we know.
With so many things to be afraid of and to fear, is there such a thing as fealessness then? Can you be truly fearless, void of any angst or such things as above mentioned phobias?
Have you ever felt fearless? If so, it would’ve been accompanied by the feeling of being invicible. I’m sure of that. Is it possible to be truly unafraid?
I think it might be.
I’ve never met anyone, who was truly fearless. That should be an interesting encounter. I’ve certainly also never met anyone I would’ve considered more fearless than me.
Yes, I worry about things. I am afraid of things. A spider suddenly crawling over my floor will make me jump, less out of fear (which would be somewhat primal in any case) rather than the fact that it truly startled me.
The unexpected is not to be feared, but it may startle you at times. That is okay, it doesn’t mean you’re a chicken.
Complete and utter darkness will leave me with a hammering heart, which I will try and talk myself out of as an irrational reaction. It doesn’t work, but that doesn’t stop me.
Is that fear? Not really, I don’t think. It’s not the darkness I am afraid of. It’s unsettling and probably also primal. But truly fearful? No.
Being afraid of something is one thing. I’m not truly afraid of anything on the mere assumption that it’s not going to happen anyway. That assumption is quite probably born out of sheer bloody-mindedness, because I am certainly not invincible.
However, I am not someone, who can live a happy life by being afraid of what may or may not happen. The sheer number of possibilities would boggle me so much that I would never move again. That in itself sounds rather unhealthy, so I go with unafraid instead. Much easier.
Real fear is an emotional reaction to a perceived threat or danger. Typically there are two responses, fight or flight. I’ve never experienced this sort of emotion, not in such an extreme way that I wanted to either run away or fight whatever was threatening me.
I consider myself lucky in that regard.
That, however, doesn’t make me fearless. You can’t claim to be fearless, if you’ve never had to face a truly fearful situation.
Everything else I could say about this would be purely hypothetical. I know myself well enough to say that there could be situations that would make me want to run instead of fight. But equally there would be situations I would turn around and fight instead of running away.
This is where the “What if” games comes in handy that I introduced a few weeks back.
All I can say right now is that I am unafraid. Even when something startles me, or even causes a flood of adrenalin through my system, my rational mind likes to think of itself as in charge of feeble little phobias, the occasional odd nightmare (and by odd I really mean very odd as in strange, also rare, but mostly strange) or a crawling insect.
I think, a lot of it has to do with acceptance: that of things that cannot be avoided, your own weaknesses, mechanisms out of your control and that life is just awfully random and wild and sometimes even extremely unlikely.
Once you accept that and recognize your own powers, everything within and out of your reach that you might be able to control, manipulate, influence, change, you may get to a stage, where you’re less afraid of the things that may befall you. At the end of the day, whatever happens happens and most of it will happen if you like it or not.
Might as well get on with it and not worry about it too much. Be aware, try to be prepared, but stop worrying about the maybes. It’s not a life I could live. It’s not a life I live or recommend.
Life’s too short to worry yourself silly. Find a balance between being mindful and living your life to the fullest.
Try not to be too reckless, though.
I’ll try, too.