“In order to learn the important lessons in life one must, each day surmount a fear.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Many times when we talk about being afraid we jump right to being afraid of the big things like disasters or mugging or murder, stuff in horror movies or even what’s on the news, which I like to avoid at all costs. And in some ways we live in a society governed by fear and sometimes it feels like we are always on guard looking around us and being paranoid, but I think the big fears cause us to lose sight of the little fears, the underlying fears that are with us all the time! In fact sometimes we are afraid of things that we aren’t even consciously aware of. Fear of what’s going to happen in the future, fear of rising gas prices, fear of losing our jobs, fear of never finding a partner, fear of gaining a few pounds, fear, fear, fear. Most of the time our fears are irrational, or unsupported by truth and contribute to an almost constant state of anxiety that feels normal.
I was thinking about this the other day while I was getting a root canal, while I was literally having a panic attack in the chair and the endodontist and his nurse were telling me to breathe I had to ask myself what exactly I was afraid of? What’s worse is that I was stressing the procedure all day and had all I could do not to cancel it out of fear. I had to push myself through the fear of the procedure, an irrational fear, in order to get the work done. And within the fear of the procedure were included like a hundred mini fears, including paying out the money and how that would effect my already huge payment load, and it just went on and on until I was in a little mini frenzy. See I do stress the small stuff, while logically, what experience has shown me is that I always come out alright. I always come out on the other side, fine and dandy and usually if I am lucky I learn something from the experience, even if it takes a while for that learning to kick in.
Often when we think about surmounting our fears we think of fear of flying, or jumping out of an airplane and we go to seek out thrills that will help us over come it, but what I am going to do rather than run out and do the bungee cord thing is to search my mind for the little daily fears that I may not be aware of and then surmount them by telling myself that it ain’t no big thang and when the fear creeps in I’ll address it and then one fear at a time I will eventually become fearless. Some really smart person cornered the market on conquering fear when they said, “There is nothing to fear, but fear itself!” And if you really think about it you will realize that in most situations where you are afraid it’s the fear that rules you. Fear has it’s place but let’s face it, fear should be used with caution and in circumstances where it is healthy and justified, not in everyday living where it is defined as stress. So figure out what fears you and let it go! I believe fearlessness is the key to freedom of self and self mastery. Imagine how you would feel if you weren’t afraid of anything . . .