“Fear, Imagination, And The Fact That No-One Really Knows You’re Alive”
To push through the distractions of life and ignore the modern concerns, to willingly focus our attention on being ourselves, to offend people, to be offended, to learn things about ourselves we don’t want to know, to be put in our place, to have friends, to lose friends, to be part of something, to be alone, to walk into places that are too loud and too crowded, and to interact with people when we don’t want to, to learn a truth we might never understand, is the reason we are alive.
Feelings and emotions are the biggest part of our lives for a reason and they mean something. They mean we’re alive. Emotions are powerful and crippling and long-lasting, and wonderful. Learn to understand them and we learn to understand ourselves. We shouldn’t stop living just because it’s uncomfortable sometimes. Live more now, learn more now, be more now because you are alive now. Someday you will be dead and that’s going to be one more thing that we’re not gonna wanna do, so we have to act while we’re alive and do things that push us further than we’ve gone before, learn new things, go to new places, see new people, be a real living person for the little time we have left.
Safe places might as well be coffins. They separate us from the real emotions we feel just as real life begins to happen. Pain, suffering, sorrow, sadness, nervousness, confrontation, irritability, anger: things can not be avoided all the time, so we must learn and adapt to them and eventually we will gain more and more control until we overcome them. And we will learn to control them, if we want to be a better person. Dodge them, hide from them, go to the safe place and the emotions then control us.
Am I saying we’re a bad people if anxiety stops us from enjoying life? No. But we’ll enjoy more of our life and be more of the person we’d like to be if we allow ourselves out into the world and feel the uncomfortable reality of life.
Life is not all about being in a good place all the time. It’s also about the scary places just as much and the fears that come with those places. Yes, we realize anxiety is scary and it’s a real emotional response to a real world situation. It’s truly happening to us and we are right to feel the way we do. But, it doesn’t last forever. When it comes, it’s like a wave. Ride it out.
There is nothing fake or easy about it. There is no way to just get over it when it comes. Our anxieties and our fears can be controlled and we should practice controlling them every chance we get because we should want to overcome our fears.
Again, I’m not saying our emotions aren’t real, I’m saying they are not justified by reality. Just like the monster in our childhood closet. Were we scared? Sure. But was there a real reason to be? No. It was all in our mind.
Just like the dark, once we spent enough time in it, grew up in it, we learned there was no reason to be afraid. The same will happen with crowds, noises, places, and all the other things that make us feel anxiety and fear. It comes from the unfamiliarity of the situation. Just like sleeping alone in the dark causes all types of fear at first and we imagine all manner of things in the closet, under the bed, and lurking in the dark. It’s only our imagination working overtime.
The same things happen with crowds of people and new places. We imagine the people are thinking of us and talking about us. We imagine they are laughing at us, looking at us, pointing at us. We just know they remember every little thing we do and that we’re always on their minds. They just can’t wait until they get a chance to laugh at us again.
But, none of that is true. No one is thinking bad things about us. No one is laughing at us or pointing out our mistakes. No one is talking about that time we dropped our fork in the cafeteria. In fact, practically no one even knows we’re alive. And that’s the thing we should be afraid of, really. Going our entire lives and being afraid of our imagination and too scared to go to the store, so when we die no one even knew we were alive.