What To Be Afraid Of

I’m afraid of not having enough money.

I’m afraid of you not liking me. I’m afraid of silence in a conversation. I’m afraid of my heart getting hurt. I’m afraid of certain corners of my mind.

If you throw another log on the fire and plump up the pillow, I’ll go on.

You probably don’t need me to, though. Fear is as much a part of being human as having to breathe and having to go to the bathroom.

But unlike breathing and relieving (ourselves), we have some choice with fear.

Not about feeling fear; feelings happen like runny noses in autumn and spring happen. The choice lies in choosing which fear is important to us. As Franklin Delano Roosevelt put it: not all fears are created equal.

I’ve chosen that my fear of speedy cars is important to me; I don’t waltz out into the street whenever I please.

I’ve chosen that my fear of silence in a conversation is not important to me; I aim not to speak when I don’t have something to say. Aim is the operative word. Sometimes, I still talk to fill empty space. But I’m aiming towards organic silence.

These choices are a workout; I repeat, repeat, repeat them. Some fears masquerade brilliantly as the truth, too. I can’t see my certainty I’ll be rejected by that program or person for the fear that it is.

But for the fears we are able to pluck out and call out, we are allowed to be selective about which we kneel to.

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