“We are afraid of the enormity of the possible.” – Emile M. Cioran
Fear is an almost ever present emotion. Whether it be the fear of failure, of death or pain, of rejection, of the future, of ourselves, fear is and always will be a part of life. Fear is a problem not because it exists but because of the way we handle it. I don’t know if I know the right way to handle it because it is something I am still working on today, but what I do know is the wrong way to handle it.
Growing up watching my mother in pain has instilled in me a fear that has not gone away. Sitting with her in the hospital, knowing there was nothing for me to do to help, it was the most terrifying thing in the world. As I’ve gotten older that fear has gotten easier to deal with but the fear itself has not gone away and never will. But as I’ve grown up, I’ve also acquired more things that scare me and I have not handled them in the best way. I’ve let these things occupy my mind and control how I have acted – from things such as whether or not the girl I like feels the same, all the way to whether or not I will fail at what I want to be in life. I let them take over my life in such a way where I become depressed and am filled with such overwhelming anxiety that it would occupy my thoughts all the time. That eats away at you, day after day, even if what is scaring you isn’t at the forefront of your mind, there is still that knot in your stomach, that ever present uneasiness that just won’t go away. This is how I’ve dealt with fear and anxiety for a long time and it’s only very recently that I have decided I don’t want this to be the way that I handle things.
Fear can control us and bring us all down. It has controlled me for a long time, almost my entire life, and I want to change that. What has brought this all about is the fact that, in the past few years, I have seen death and I know that it is scary as all hell, but what I’ve realized is that if I live my life in constant fear of what could be or what could happen – then I will live a miserable life. I know that my fears will never go away and I don’t expect them to and I don’t want them to – what I want is to accept those fears without really being afraid of them, and what I mean by that is this – if I am constantly afraid, then my life will only be what my fear makes of it. That’s no way to live because I don’t think that is truly living. As Dorothy Thompson said, “Only when we are no longer afraid do we truly begin to live.”