The Only Thing to Fear is Fear Itself

Fear.  It’s kind of a funny thing.  Fear is something that can keep us from living.

Yesterday, as I was walking my dog, I ran into a neighbor that I always stop and chat with when we see each other.  She’s probably close to my age-maybe a few years younger. Anyway, she was saying that they-her and her husband-were trying to figure out a place to go for a short, before school starts again, trip. Somewhere that would be good for her 13 year old son.  She knew I’d been in Mexico, so asked me about it.  I told here that where I went was great for kids. That there are several places that are kind of resort like right on the beach with pools and facilities.  There’s snorkeling, a turtle farm, boat rides… lots of stuff. It’s also really inexpensive.  I told her that my most expensive meal was maybe $20.00.  I did add that that was without alcohol as I don’t drink anymore. Oh, she needs her wine-which was no surprise to me.  For one thing, I see her at the grocery store fairly often and she’s always got wine in her basket. And, it takes one to know one!

She then said that her husband wanted to go to Hawaii.  But, she’s scared to fly and won’t fly for that long-it’s about 8 hours from here.  Then, I said that Mexico was a good option-only 2 hours from here. She said she was scared of the Federales-were they still around?  Yes. It’s a Latin American country, that’s how they operate.  Then she asked wasn’t this Hurricane season? She would be afraid that there might be a hurricane.   Isn’t Mexico dangerous?  I replied that some parts were, but not the part we were talking about.  I also pointed out that many places all over the world are dangerous.  Well, that scares her. Jeez!  When I walked away, all I could think was, “That woman has a lot of fear.”

And that fear is paralyzing.  People do and don’t do things because of fear.  They miss out on lots because of fear.  People drink because they are afraid.  Then, they want to quit, but are afraid to quit. They convince themselves that drinking is fun, it’s good, it’s whatever.  But in truth, they are afraid of change.  And so they get stuck in their fear based existence. Not liking it but too scared to try anything new-anything different. We live in a time of immediate gratification.  So, in terms of quitting drinking, for many, if they try it for a few days and don’t see any difference they decide that it’s not worth it. That it doesn’t make any difference.  And, they let the fear of change take over.

People have remarked that I am brave to travel by myself.  I don’t see it as brave at all.  I had a father that thought if he saw something on TV, then there was no reason to do it.  My mother,” was not a widow and not divorced.” So, for instance, when they were in San Fransisco and she wanted to ride a Cable Car and my dad replied that he’d seen it on TV, she didn’t do it. WELL!  I made the decision long ago that I was not going to subscribe to that bullshit!  I also know that while my mother was very strong and fearless in many ways, she was also in many ways directed by her fear of…well life.

I think what I have never understood is that why, when someone is in a horribly, miserable situation, they stay. And while I realize that oftentimes that may come under one of the descriptions of addiction, I also feel that it’s fear of change.No matter how horrible something is, it’s a known thing and so there is a comfort level that comes into play.  The unknown is scarier than the known.. It’s a horribly imprisoned way to live.

So please, anyone who is in a situation that needs to change, please give change a fair shot.  I’m not saying that it will be easy but it will be worth it.  Living a life paralyzed by fear is not living.  If you don’t, you are shortchanging yourself. Don’t keep convincing yourself that your situation isn’t that bad.  That drinking is a good thing.  That it’s fun-or you like the friends you make or the environment that you drink in.  You wouldn’t be reading blogs like this if you weren’t unhappy. This applies to any aspect of life-going for a new job, sending in a manuscript, entering a painting in a contest, changing up a recipe…It’s okay to step out of your comfort zone.

On another note, yesterday I was at a stoplight.  And I noticed a nice, Lexus in the lane next to me with the windows rolled down.  And I wondered why someone with a fairly new Lexus would have their windows rolled down at 3:00 in the afternoon when the heat index was 108.  The man then put a cigarette to his mouth. It all became crystal clear to me then. He had a plastic glove on the hand that was holding the cigarette! He was trying to hide his habit! Yep!  I could relate!

“The Only Thing to Fear is Fear Itself”

Namaste

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