The word fear was perched nice and high on the white board behind my laptop above my desk. I look at this white board (aptly named "The Situation Room") numerous times a day, as I plan my week on it. I also have a small section on the board where I place ideas and other long-term to dos. Fear was one of the topics which I have resolved to post about for quite some time now.
Why? Well, it has been a driving force in my own life and to know fear is to know me better.
Elliott Hulse, one of the great YouTubers and "philosophers" of our time, once said on a video of his (if I remember correctly!) that in this life we have two major driving forces - fear and vision. The idea is that almost all the things we do is related to fear or vision somehow. Fear is self explanatory and I will come to it, but vision is less so. By vision he means your dreams, your hopes, your desires for your own, your family's, someone or something's future. If you envision yourself to be the person who finally gets all nations to agree on a comprehensive deal that will curb Global Warming, you will wake up each morning doing things to realize that vision. I a sense you could say that you
are driven by the fact that you do not want the image you see in your brain to remain bound to fiction anymore. You want it to be born. You are thus a creator. This can obviously be good or bad as someone may envision becoming an evil mastermind.
Returning to fear, I know that my life has always been a tension of opposites - fear v vision. I am the man in the middle of two great forces pulling on me from distant ends. For much of it, fear has been the dominant opposite. Revealing emotions to others for example is a fear. Maybe I am going to eat and on the way I see trash lying on the ground or I see someone throwing trash on the ground, I get upset. Walking on, someone stares at me for no apparent reason - anger builds. By the time I reach place of eating, I might be quite frustrated and borderline angry at all the small things that happened. A friend wonders why I am so quiet and I just say that I am always quiet.
Really though it is fear that prevents me from saying what really happens. I know that if I let my walls come down and tell the person "I just hate it when people stare at me for no apparent reason" or "It really is hard for my to see wastefulness and pollution." there might be further questions. "Why do you have a problem with starting people?" "Why do you care about one bit of trash?"
Obviously as the questions explore the undergrowth of psyche even more I might start showing the societally determined negative emotions sadness and anger.
No, people shouldn't see my angry or sad because that would require too much explaining which might force me to show more emotion. So, I put on the old mask of introversion, detachment and stoicism. No emotion, no feelings - no questions.
I thank God that this fear is weakening within me and I am much more open about my feelings than ever before, but it's still a long way from being where it can be. As many of you know, I have/had social phobia. An example might be that someone visits our house (even if it's someone I know) and I run to my room when I see them at the gate. I stand in my room knowing that this fear is nonsensical and baseless, but I can't seem to move towards the door where I will be seen. That old enemy fear grabs hold and anchors me to the ground. The vision of me being a confident, expressive and assertive (yet sensitive, empathetic and caring) you man pulls my thoughts toward how I will walk out of my room, greet the visitor to our house and converse. I am slap-bang in the middle of the tension of opposites; fear pulls me to the comfort of my bed and browsing the internet whereas visions pulls me over the edge of my comfort zone. For a camera focused on me, I seem almost frozen (stoic, detached, introverted) but for the Great Storyteller who can see the workings of my thought and feelings know that the tension of the opposites are near breaking point within me.
How did this situation end? An external force got me out of my room and then I seem awkward as the decision was made for me and the tension of opposites never truly got resolved. With enough of these my vision becomes dependent on the external force and we all know that's not the best way to go about things. True change and improvement can only come if it is from within. Don't get me wrong, more often than not we need those external forces to shove us in the right direction and let us know that fear is pulling is far too strongly and we are being pulled away from the vision. Sometimes we can only know this when an outsider can look upon us and see what we cannot see. This can only be done if we let those walls come down and let people know what's going on.
It should be mentioned that someone else might be pulled by fear and might cause you to be pulled by fear even stronger, but generally the people in your life really wants you to move closer to that vision. Let them do that.
I thank my family that they have always handled this situation really well for me. Now I am far more able to regulate the tension of opposites truly on my own.
As a final note not all fear motivations are bad (researching cancer because you want to have a cure when you or a family member is afflicted is a good motivation), but it is down to each of us to know when to gravitated fearwards or visionwards and other people can help us do that.
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