Fear

November 21, 2016

It is not easy to overcome fear. It is just very easy to talk, talk and talk about being fearless. That is because fear is a very natural human response to either a real or imagined threat.

Once we come to terms with this reality then we give ourselves permission to embrace fear itself without having to pass judgement on ourselves negatively. Suddenly we are not bothered about being labelled weak, cowardly or even lacking in character – this is the first step to overcoming fear – to first admit that one is vulnerable and weak and capable of being crushed like an ant…this is what it means to look squarely into the jaws of fear…it is accurate….it is reality….with this we lose our shame of being fearful.

Fearful that it may not end as well as we imagined it to end. Fearful that it may leave us ravaged and scarred for life. Fearful that our lives with be turned upside down and fearful that we not have the strength or courage to pick ourselves up and carry on.

Personally I find when I sit quietly next to that which I fear most – very slowly I will eventually come to terms with the sum of my fears. But the more I run away and hide or try to avoid it – the bigger my fear becomes…sitting quietly in one corner and observing my feelings and reactions to fear without being attached usually has a calming effect on me…maybe in this mode where I choose to be a witness to my own thoughts….that’s when I come to terms with my own failings and vulnerability without having to bear the burden of being macho. Or maybe it just makes me laugh at the things that I once feared.

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‘When I first became a farmer. I was petrified of loneliness. I was so afraid that I would often seek out the company of others like a child. Whenever I found myself alone in the field – I couldn’t stand the emptiness of solitude. The emptiness all sounded like fingernails scraping against a blackboard. I had to cocoon myself in a bubble of sound. Any sound would do. The jabbering radio was good. When reception was bad on rainy days, even bad music would do quite nicely….anything to keep silence…loneliness away.

One day I decided to reflect on loneliness and asked – what is loneliness? What is it really? Why does it distress me so much?

I did not produce many successful answers….not the variety that managed to comfort me even when I regularly found myself flaying in the cold vacuum of loneliness like an astronaut marooned in space. Neither did I manage to successfully produce any meaningful theories and philosophies relating to the subject of loneliness either….not at least the variety that managed to comfort me even when I was in the dead grip of loneliness.

But in searching for answers to many of my questions – since I was compelled to go into the depths of loneliness deeper than anyone that I could have confided in concerning this subject – that I imagined might have been the very reason why I no longer feel fearful of loneliness any longer.

The moral of the story is sometimes we don’t really know where we are heading because it seems like a never ending journey that keeps going on and on without any prospects of a happy ending – but maybe the answer doesn’t reside in the destination or even the place where at the end of it all we say to ourselves – I have finally arrived safely…

Maybe the answer to many of our vexing questions is to found in the litany of the journey itself – maybe the answer lies somewhere in these little slivers of time – maybe those are the moments that holds out the skeleton key to door called the resolution of a lonely soul.

As no matter how treacherous the walk – at some point in this never ending road that seems to go on forever, something is bound to catch your eye. Maybe a colorful bird, the sort that one regularly comes across in glossy magazines where the reds, yellow and greens pop out so much they even hurt one’s eyes.

Or perhaps it’s just the marvelous way the clouds are set ablaze by the setting sun that suddenly takes your breathe away – for me I can really only remember staring up at the paraffin blue skies one hot afternoon and training my eye on a jet stream as it penciled across the desolate page of that moment….it was so beautiful….so straight…like spring snow. I even imagined it smelling like peppermint – I must have held on to that image for an awfully long time as my neck ached like shit – but somewhere in all this, one experiences a rare sort of epiphany – that even in this place that has always been filled with dread and foreboding. There can be something beautiful and happy that has the power to take one away from fear itself.

Suddenly for as long as it lasted – loneliness doesn’t seem so intimidating any longer and soon everything that one feared assumes it’s rightful scale and perspective and sense.

That is how I see the whole idea of coming to terms with fear. For me at least.’

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