Often, we think too much. We enter that great and vast chasm of concern which seems to drag us down into it. We pretend that we’re somewhere else, we run from it as though we have somewhere else to go, but really we’re walking further and further into the darkness, until it seems impossible to return.
Once we’re down in there, nothing feels the same. We reduce life to it’s worst pieces, finding the bad in the situations and people around us. The present is nowhere to be seen. We live, entirely, in our worst memories, and our most terrible imaginings of the future. We are sure: everything has gone wrong, and everything will go wrong.
Our minds are adapted to create fear. Something within us believes that our reactions to fear keep us safe, especially when those reactions reduce the fear we feel. But what happens when we need to pursue the very things which we are afraid of?
Confrontation? Medical checkups? An important phone call? Difficult conversations? Change?
We try to avoid the things we fear, believing that the temporary discomfort outweighs the potential positives of tackling fear. Discomfort feels unsettling. How do we tackle it, when it feels so out of our control?
We don’t. We don’t run at it, trying to battle some spectral concept. We don’t take a sword to the air and try to fight it off. Why? Because it’s not about the fear, that lingering thought of past and future blended into an impossibly overwhelming mindset. It was never about the fear- it’s about what makes the fear. The past experiences, the ones which we overthink and turn over in our minds. The future experiences which we imagine as ever-darkening tunnels, stretching on and on, inescapable. Only in recognising that fear is primarily made up of unreal removal from the present, can we really overcome it.
We have to take the fear to pieces, and then we have to be present. Present in our environments, in our minds, in our thoughts. Accepting of our feelings as though they are fleeting houseguests. To understand fear, and then to be present despite it, is to overcome it.
What fears do you want to overcome?
Featured image: Krystal Black via Unsplash.