I'd like to think our profound, seemingly infinite, capacity for fear is a misplaced inheritance for storytelling. Perhaps this is all it is: our brain, trying to connect dots in the most creative way possible. After all, we all know how well disaster sells...
And maybe there's no way to stop the relentless story line, but if we could just see it for what it is--mostly fiction, then perhaps we'd breathe easier through our hard days.
I tend toward catastrophic thinking. There are probably many of us out there who do, and though experience should have taught us by now that the worst-case-scenario is not the most common scenario, we refuse to believe it until we're safely on the other side.
If we were rational creatures, then perhaps this could be constructive--preparation is key and all that--but, petals, I'm sorry. Humans are rarely rational and the worry and fear and projecting gets us farther and farther away from a centered place of well-being.
I don't have any advice or any way to stop the downward spiral. But I can say this, and I hope it's of some comfort--all that dooming your mind is doing? It's just entertaining itself. You don't have to get involved.
I've been frozen for so long, I doubt I'd notice if my feet became unstuck. I suspect that there are too many of us held in this same kind of suspension, unaware that we could move even if we got up the courage to try.
It can feel shameful, this fear, as we watch others carrying on, seemingly unaffected. But I think we have to talk about it, and we have to talk about it in a way that doesn't belittle us, that doesn't make us ashamed for how we were made in this world, and--finally--in a way that makes us proud to have a voice we're *not afraid* to use in the first place.
Paths don't come along as often as we imagine. Or, more likely, we don't notice them as much as we could. But when one rolls itself out in front of you, don't let fear and the lack of a map stop you from exploring it.
We've lost too much to fear, and if we don't stop now, when will we stop? And when will we ever start to live?
I am an expert mountains-from-molehills maker, and it's only recently that I've realized this is my default setting. Can I rewire that? I don't know. Now that I have perspective, now that I see worst-case-scenario is not the always-reality, maybe. But maybe this information is enough--not everything is deserving of panic. "Normal" people do twice as much on a "normal" day without a ruffled feather to be found.
So does that make my experience any less valid? I don't know. Maybe. Maybe it's nothing more than a case of conditioning. I don't need to begin each day as if I'm the awkward new kid in class. Really, probably, no one even notices me--and, honestly, that's some kind of comfort.
It's a dubious gift, sensitivity, and the longer I wander through this world, the more I wonder if the trade-off is worth it. Not that we have much choice--we are as we were made, and all we can do is shield and adjust and accept. But does anyone else find that constant shielding, adjusting, and adapting exhausting? I think at that point--that point of exhaustion--is when the fear sets in.
Unfortunately for us, this is an undiscriminating fear--it can take any shape, any form and, armed with such versatility, can jump out at us where and when least expected. We get to a point where we can no longer voice or react to such triggers for fear (!!) of being thought hopeless, helpless, alarmist, or just plain pitiful. High-strung. Anxiety-prone. **Sensitive.**
Well, as all too often is the case, I have no answer. It's not a satisfying solution, but I suppose I'll keep walking, armed (shielded) to the hilt with my stones and crystals, spells and layers and hope for easy passage.
I don't know, petals. I like to think we're innately intuitive creatures, but when it comes to our own lives, our own choices, our own decisions, aren't we just a little too close? And it's an impossible situation, of course, because we want to be the purveyors of our own destiny, but all that right action gets mixed up with our hopes and fears and dreams and regrets, all hinging on the teetering framework of past decisions, all piled up on themselves.
I mean, is that a stable base from which to make any kind of move? But if we don't move aren't we then, by definition, stuck? And when has that ever done us any good?
I don't have an answer. All I can offer is a practice game--all we can do is try it out, play it out in our hearts first and hope the response we get is honest and true and go from there.
I assume (well, I hope, because I don't really want to be nuts) that everyone has worries buried deep that they're afraid to churn up for fear that they're actually true. But then if we don't turn that soil over, we risk that contaminant spoiling an entire season's work. On one hand, we find out we've distorted the truth (again), and on the other, we find we haven't this time, and honestly? I'm not sure which is worse.
And then I think, ye gads! Enough with the introspection already. Can't you just put on your shoes and hat like a normal person and go enjoy the day? But you know, I'm not sure I was ever that person. Are any of us? Or has the whole atmosphere just become too weighty for us to dance along like we used to?
I'm not sure, but March is coming; the inevitable sticky churning of mud season is coming. Sometimes that smell of thawing earth offers nothing but possibility. Sometimes it offers nothing but the veiled threat of secrets uncovered.
It's so common a phenomenon--hesitating to make a decision, to commit to a direction for fear of what you'll miss or what you'll lose. I remember thinking this as a kid--that I was wasting my life, that somewhere, somehow a place existed where I could be effortlessly funny/brave/clever/talented/etc. An early, pre-millennial FoMO--it may sport a new text-y acronym, but it's nothing new.
But holy cats will that mentality ever drive you nuts--the only result possible is either an over-committing exhaustion of resources or committing to nothing at all, drowning in that pit in your stomach that knows you should be doing *something* but with no clear idea about which something to choose.
Well, here's the thing. Put your hand on your heart. Breathe there and push the choice into your chest. How do you feel? How do you REALLY feel? Then commit to that feeling and communicate your choice--clearly with no hesitation and no apology.
Our minds are crafty survivalists and skilled liars. I...
I have been so intimate with fear for so long that I can rarely tell the difference between it and reality. And, in fact, I'm not so sure that there *is* a difference. I've tried, more and more often, to be transparent with my fears, to show them to a more fearless, more rational person and ask, *is this thing real?*
Most often? The answer is no.
Most often? I think they're lying to me out of duty/affection/their own fear.
One of my favorite meditations has always been the mantra, if it rises from fear it isn't real. But that seems dangerous to me. So. What is fear? What is reality? How can you tell?