life, love, philosophy

The Color of Fear

Fear.
What a complex emotion. It comes in so many different colors and shades that sometimes it’s hard to grab. Sometimes it’s even harder to understand what and why we fear.

It starts when we are babies. Completely helpless we cry when we wake up all alone, when we are left in a crib somewhere. As toddlers we are frightend when we, lost in play, look around us and everyone seems gone.

Later other losses, real ones, add to our fright. We start to comprehend what separation means, and dicorce, how misunderstandings and hurt can lead to losing lovers and friends. We realize the infinity of death and the pain that lies within.

And then there are all the other things we learn to fear. Accidents. Drowning. Suffocating. Being raped. Predators coming to torture and kill us. Fire. Death. War. Terror.

If we are lucky and curageous we understand you can’t escape fear but you can walk right into it, face it and conquer it.

Some of us are more adventurous in this, some less. There are those who see a challenge and go for it, and those who ponder if it’s really worth it. And of course there are those who will always be held hostage by what they fear.

But who tells us what we really have to be afraid of and what not? Is it only our gut feeling? Our intuition? Can we be fooled by ourselves? Is it possible that our own fright tricks us? And why should it?

What if what we fear is so threatening because it lies within us?

We want to control fear. If we get a handle on what we are afraid of, then there is something we can do about it and at the end of the day this will make us conquer our fright.

Take stagefright for example. I know how gut wrenching this can be though it’s no real threat at all. I mean, what can happen? The audience may not like what you do on stage, they might even boo. So what? You’re not going to die. The easy way to conquer this fear is to step out into the light. And the more you do it, the less fear you will feel.

You’re afraid of flying? Find a pilot you really trust. Not one who flies commercial, but one of those great guys who take you up in a Cessna, fully aware of all your shitting-trembling-Lord-I’m-going-to-be-sick horror, who will explain all the technical details and the magic of physics to you and who then lets you take the controls for a minute or two up there. Any idea what will happen? Right, you will have that moment in which you first think “Goodness” and next “holy shit, I can really do this, I’m flying that plane and gosh, this is fun”.

So, is it all really a question of control? Can we conquer every fear by taking control?

Such an attractive idea. We, everyone of us, the master of their lives, always in control, always chosing the path. Wouldn’t it be great to be almighty?

But we’re not (and I personally think that’s a good thing, but this is a different story). You can and absolutely should be the captain of your life but you can’t and shouldn’t control love.

Love is our best friend and our greatest foe. It makes us vulnerable and unreasonable. It can lift or destroy us. It may demand that we leave everything behind, change our whole life when it strikes us. It is our power or our devastation. With love there is no inbetweens.

So what if we misread our fear? What if we listen to our mind instead of our heart and soul?

What if you really fear love, the tsunami of emotion, so much that you don’t want to face it, that you convince yourself the one who is the love of your life is a very dangerous person who threatens your life?
Do you dare to walk into that fear?