my journey and observations about life

The End is Fear

Fear has been the buzz word coming up over and over in my life. Have no fear.. face your fear.. don't let fear get the best of you. There are so many clichés dealing with everyday fears that it seems that the words alone would carry you through anything. Like a magic carpet that covers any doorway that you must pass. Just say you have no fear and walk through it. 

If that were true then fear wouldn't exist and we could all effortlessly move on with our dreams, our disillusionment, our pursuit of change. But believing that you can waltz through everything fearlessly is bullshit. 

Fear happens to all of us. We are all human and it is a part of how we survive things that sometimes would be our demise. We can't get caught up a culture that is delusional about a natural instinct. We also can't dwell in it. We cannot let fear control and define our lives.

The irony of always talking about fear is sometimes it allows us something to talk about, a distraction instead of actually facing our fears. This transitions us into being stuck and this is where fear gets a death grip on us. Overcoming fear always has change involved. Changing our lives, changing our minds, changing our actions and sometimes simply accepting and surrendering to what cannot and will not be. And that is tough.  Sometimes it is very rewarding.  Sometimes it breaks your heart.  Sometimes it changes the very core of who you are.  But it is something that had to happen, has to happen and will happen.

Good things happen. Bad things happen. Let me repeat that. Good things happen. Bad things happen. Even the perspective of the Dalai Lama is challenged by fear. Sometimes overcoming fear brings us into great and wonderful things. Things that great movies and books are written about. But many times overcoming fear is accepting and surrendering to the real truth of what is, what will be instead of fighting it.  Overcoming fear most of the time goes unnoticed by others and seems insignificant.  But we all have to overcome the fears that keep us from living to our true selves.  We have to overcome the fears that hold us back from our purpose.

Releasing the grip that fear holds on us isn’t a natural thing. It is our nature to fear change.  It has kept us alive throughout human history.  But as mankind has evolved survival is more than live or die in a physical sense.  We have fear in more intricate areas of life where we must move forward or release.  We still have those life and death battles and they exist every day.  They are still present and very real.  The physical battles are tough and fighting for your life is difficult on so many different levels.  If you allow fear into the battle of life then you die.  It is just that simple.  I know as well as many other survivors this simple, yet incredibly challenging truth.

It is the other battles of fear that many people minimize and don’t face.  Should I speak up.. do I get involved.. do I begin pursuing my dreams.. will I surrender to what I cannot control.  These are very real fears that make our lives stagnant and keep us from moving forward past the fear of oblivion.  Ok maybe oblivion is a bit strong but none of us want to live meaningless lives.  None of us want for our lives to not leave some type of print or legacy.  To me, the small battles are just as important as the fight for your life.  Because it is your life and it is your chance to live, not your chance to fade into a lifeless void.

Unfortunately there isn’t always someone holding the door for us until we can make our way through fear.  There isn’t always someone holding our hand.  There isn’t a guidebook for every situation.  Sometimes would be comforting words just don’t resonate with us where we are.  So how do we truly overcome fear on our own?  How do we move through the drying concrete that evelopes us as we make our way through difficult situations?  The answer isn’t just as easy as we do.  That’s what I tell people about how I get through difficult things.  I say you just do.  You have no choice.  But that isn’t true.  Sometimes you don’t.  Sometimes you do get swallowed in the hardening cement of fear.  You become stuck and you lose yourself.  I know because I have been lost.  

I have lost so many things because of fear.  It took an earthquake once to crack the hold of fear on me.  It took an external force and then I had to realize the opportunity and chip away the rest.  Block by block, piece by piece I have had to shed the grip of fear and move forward.  It has been painful.  It has left me bruised, scarred and broken.  But I have survived and now I am thriving in so many ways.  So I was given a second chance to move past fear.  I still face fear every day, sometimes every hour.  I have to constantly will and fight my way through it.  I sometimes blast through it.  I often struggle and sometimes I learn hard lessons succumbing to my fears.  But I have to remind myself to face my fears, accept what I need to do and move forward.  Because the end of facing your fears, the end of accepting what you have to do, and the end of surrendering to what truly will be is just that.  The end.  There is no moving forward.  There is no going back.  When you don’t face fear you are stuck in the present moment good or bad and can never change to what needs to be or what must happen.  And eventually that “present” will solidify around you and what maybe once was comfortable will be your demise.

So how do you overcome fear?  I don’t have an answer for all of the situations.  You just face each situation and do your best to get through it.  But you have to move forward.  That is the one thing that you have to realize and work your way through.  Because throughout anything when you get stuck in a mentality that the end is near and you give up, you really have given in to what the real end is.  You can change.  You can move forward.  It is ok to surrender to what you cannot change.  It isn’t ok to succumb to the grasp of fear.  Because the true end of everything is fear.

Andy BarwickComment