On Being Overwhelmed By Fear

Startled and Terrified

What are you so afraid of?

How many times have we let our fears get in the way of our happiness?

As far as I know, if there’s one thing so clear in our mind, so close to our desires, so much a reflection of who want to be, then why do we take the leap? If this one pursuit is worth everything in our lives, why are we holding back? Are our fears really that immense that they overshadow our hopes? Have we ever honestly confronted our fears and gazed at them at their real sizes? Fear has a way of exaggerating reality. Reality is surprisingly less grand than we actually think.

Though I am not exempted from this, I find that people pass on too many opportunities to do and be who they are meant to be. We’re often imprisoned by the exaggeration of the effects of pain. Are we really that incapable of coping after a disaster? Are we really that weak? Or are we just afraid of not feeling anything at all because in the first place what we were doing didn’t actually matter—that the person who loved us all this time, we never really loved in return?

Isn’t pain a part of reality? I think a lot of us are still denying that fact. We say it, but we don’t really act like we understand it. Most of the time, we find ways to avoid it. We work harder than the rest because we fear that people will label us incompetent. Some of us hide behind a face that was never ours because we fear the pain of rejection. Others love more than they should because they want to be needed, to be appreciated, and to be loved.

Often, we build walls around us to secure what we think are most important in life (reputation, success, monetary security etc.). These walls are the structures that others see, that others admire, that others fear, that others respect. Yet, walls are ironic: to keep us safe, often at the price of leaving people out. Little by little, as we gain more in our lives, the higher the walls become, the thicker they get. Eventually the walls become our prisons. What used to make us happy, have now made us restless.

People want I have, we imagine. I must protect them. I am nothing without my reputation, my money, my success. These are who I am.

And up goes the wall.

We’ve built our walls so high that no sunlight could color what we are keeping safe; so high have they become that people start wondering if there is actually someone living behind them.

How different will our lives be if we never feared what was ahead of us? How different will our lives be when we realize that we won’t be labeled incompetent for wanting to find rest; we won’t be rejected if we were honest; we won’t be loved less if we loved ourselves more; we will still be important even if we only have enough; we will still be precious even if we ask for help?

How much will we change if only we dreamed bigger?

Our wealth is our curse; our poverty, our liberation. What’s wrong with asking for help? What’s wrong with admitting you can’t go any further on your own? What’s wrong with being needy? Is our fear of being judged so great we fail to become human—to be part of a bigger picture? Has our own world consumed so much we forget to see we are part of a bigger one?

When will this madness end? Or better yet, do we even want it to end?

What are we so afraid of?

If we are so afraid to do what we’ve always wanted to do, then is it really what wanted to do after all?

Image taken from: http://fralfonse.blogspot.com/2011/04/luke-24-35-48-startled-and-terrified.html

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One thought on “On Being Overwhelmed By Fear

  1. Well said and a very timely reflection Geoff! hahaha. Maybe to add, it seems interesting that fears always seem to reflect back into oneself. Maybe all fears of outside things are really fears of things about ourselves. Do you really fear pain, or do you fear that the pain is something YOU won’t be able to handle. Do you fear losing things, losing possessions, losing people and relationships, or do you fear how YOUR life will be without them? Do you fear being judged and ridiculed, or do you fear that these negative things about YOU are actually true and iredeemable?

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