I have been thinking a lot lately about fear. Put it in any form or shape of letters you want, but it will never represent good: terror, anxiety, worry, angst, dread, apprehension, horror, danger, panic, trepidation. No matter how many times I try to turn my fear into positive vibes and energy, I realize that fear is truly what holds me back. And I’m not sure if I am afraid of what might happen to me; injury (both physical and mental), pain or suffering. I think I am more afraid of what I am capable of.
I began thinking about fear recently during climbing (mostly) and a bit during skiing. It has hit me many a time when I am getting ready to lead a hard climbing route. What changes when you top rope verus lead a route? Nothing. Yeah, you have to carry a few more ounces on your harness and clip the rope in on your way up, but is that really why you can fail a route trying to lead it when you have full confidence on top rope?
Mental obstacles are extremely hard to overcome, and the only reason one cannot defeat them is because of fear. I am now convinced that fear has everything to do with the bad things in life. Think of death. Of sadness. It all originates from fear. Change is something that most people are afraid of, but change is only constant. When are we truly the same as we were yesterday? Never. Nothing is permanent. Fear is an illusion that takes over our lives and constantly forces us to fail. It is merely the fear of failure and change that bring about such extreme negativity and sadness in life. If nothing were intimidating and there were never any consequences, what would we have to be afraid of? Nerves are good. Hormones are good. Adrenaline is good. Fear is something that I am beginning to question in my everyday life. Is it necessary to be scared when your life is ever changing and unpredictable regardless of controllable situations?
Death is something that I have been contemplating recently, mostly because I am covering the topic in my psychology class. Is it possible to live without the fear of death directing our lives? If I knew I were going to die in a year would I be happy with my life and what I am doing right now, in this exact moment? I am convinced that my answer is yes, but am I doing what I love without fear getting in the way? Without boundaries, expectations, and limits?
I am trying to make a vow to myself: when fear arises in my mind I will push it aside and choose love and courage instead. There is no reason to be afraid of love: many people are afraid of getting hurt, including myself. Yes, I am talking about love for another person, but I am also talking about love for the things and happenings around you. It is hard to let yourself fall in love with somebody or something when you know that in the end you could end up suffering from this love. But suffering is only an idea, something temporary that we convince ourselves to feel. Change is unpredictable and relentless, and sometimes there is nothing you can do but be content with who and where you are regardless of what you initially perceive of an experience.
Fear is the thing that stops most people from breaking through limits and boundaries. Nothing is impossible, as we have discovered throughout the years. There are so many expectations that have been conquered thanks to the few people that possess true bravery and freeness of mind. It’s hard to be free when you don’t believe that you can push the limits. But I know that if I can rid myself of fear, I can indeed be free.
Free of judgement, free of expectations. Free of failure or success, free of sadness, of worry, stress, pressure, and hate. Free of disappointment, regret, loss, heartache, and pain. Free of doubts, time, lies, and sorrow. Free of fear.
It’s all in your head.