"Why are we scared to die? Do any of us remember being scared when we were born?"
- Trevor Kay
Fear. What a royal pain in the ass this emotion turned out to be, eh? I mean, what was the great pixie thinking when they thought this one up? They really think we'd thank them for it?
I am not immune to fear and in many ways it has ruled my life. Here are but a few examples:
- Fear of being alone "made" me choose unhealthy relationships instead of curling up in bed with a good book.
- Fear of dying alone "made" me choose to latch on to others and become co-dependent.
- Fear of not being loved "made" me blind to all the ways people really loved me.
- Fear of life "made" me choose a decade of self-pity and depression.
- Fear of my true path "made" me choose to smoke too many cigarettes for too many years.
How has fear influenced your life?
Exercise #1: Take out a piece of paper and make two columns. Label the left column "fears" and the right column "choices". Now write down fears you've had over your life, big ones, small ones, serious ones, and silly ones. After you have a decent size list on the left, write down what choices you've made that were directly caused by these fears.
Exercise #2: Take out a piece of paper and make two columns. Label the left column "hopes" and the right column "choices". Now write down hopes you've had over your life, big ones, small ones, serious ones, and silly ones. After you have a decent size list on the left, write down what choices you've made that were directly caused by these hopes.
Exercise #3: Compare your lists.
Fear and hope are opposites. Those things we most hope for we fear loosing. We hope for better things, we fear worse things. We hope for "good" friendships, we fear "bad" friendships. We hope for wealth, we fear destitution. We hope for enlightenment, we fear ignorance.
What is it we really fear? What is it we really hope for?
When you understand your path then fear and hope....
Oh, you will understand when you are ready.
"I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain."
- The Bene Gesserit Littainy against Fear