25 November 2012

What Are You Afraid of?

All of us are afraid.  Each of us fears different things to different degrees, of course, but the bottom line is that we all have fear.  Some people fear spiders, some fear heights, some fear war--but all of us fear life to one extent or another.  All of us fear what life can do to us if we let go of the control we think we have, if we let down our guard, if we don't do the things we're supposed to do, if we get caught doing the things we're not supposed to do.

But it's important to keep in mind that our fears have been taught to us.  And they've been taught to us by people who are just as afraid of things--of life--as we are.  So these are teachings that aren't really in our best interest to believe, much less to cause us to modify our behavior.  It's not our fault that we're afraid, nor is it other people's fault that they're afraid.  It seems to be a human trait to pass on our fears to others--after all, in our early days as a race those fears kept us from getting killed.  And survival is one of our most important genetic imperatives.

We don't have to be afraid, though.  Life is what it is, and it doesn't have anything personal against us.  It keeps on doing its thing while we keep on doing ours.  Our fear of life is often what actually causes many of the things we fear to happen--we bring it on ourselves by focusing on what we fear.  But what happens if we don't focus on that fear--what happens if we actually are able to recognize our fears and let them go, thus not fearing life any more?  What would our lives look like if our actions and reactions weren't motivated by fear--fear of loss, fear of rejection, fear of success, fear of injury?

Imagine your life that way, and then work to make it that way.  A life without fear is a life of peace, a life of acceptance, a life of authenticity.  And why can't your life be that way?  Or can it, once you let go of the fear that keeps you down?

We're afraid of living life, therefore we don't experience, we don't
see.  We don't feel.  We don't risk.  And therefore we don't
live--because life means being actively involved.  Life means
getting your hands dirty.  Life means jumping in the middle of it
all.  Life means falling flat on your face.  Life means
going beyond yourself--into the stars!
Leo Buscaglia

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