Not just to ourselves, but to each other, we might actually get a better idea of what it is to actually be in someone else’s position.
The relationship that a lot of people have with their fear is more mortal and visceral than one might initially expect. It can be as crippling as it can be destructive, and the relationship that many of us have with that fear is not what one would categorize as anything close approaching “healthy”.
To have the courage to say “I am afraid”, even when it doesn’t seem that the notion really fits the situation, can sometimes tip the scales the right direction. Telling your boss, your coworker, your spouse, your client, or even your children that you are afraid can show you the best and worst parts of yourself.
I’m afraid all the time.
- Afraid of not being accepted
- Afraid of failure
- Afraid of letting people down
- Afraid of being weak (either in perception or in reality)
- Afraid of other people’s opinions
- Afraid of myself
If anything, these things tell me that I am actually stronger than most people would think. I care (sometimes more than they know), I am physically and mentally fit, and I often find that I scrutinize my own actions more deeply and well before I begin to do the same for others.
When we fail to recognize fear for what it is and welcome it into our conscious lives, we permit the creation of a dangerous aberration. If anything, fear should be welcomed into our waking lives like an old friend and given all the considerations we would give the people we care about most. Fear can be a powerful teacher and a way to look deeper into ourselves and find our story, our Truth.
If we were honest about our fear, and less afraid of talking about it with others, maybe we wouldn’t need to spend over a trillion US Dollars a year on lethal objects. Maybe instead we could talk about the fear we experience every day in our waking lives: the fears and needs of over a quarter-million homeless people on the streets of the US, the fears and dreams of the documented and undocumented youth of the world, and perhaps even the fears, hopes, and wisdom of the last of the Greatest Generation as they leave us.
If we were honest about our fear, we would be wise indeed to listen.