"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."
--- Frank Herbert, Dune - Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear
Fear is defined as: A feeling of disquiet, apprehension, agitation, and anxiety caused by the presence or imminence of danger. In other words it is the thing that halts you in your tracks when you sense something risky or dangerous approaching, whether this is a person, animal or situation. It raises doubt and makes you question. It is healthy and instinctual at its core. There is nothing wrong with a healthy dose of fear.
The problems arise when we let fear paralyze us in that moment of agitation and anxiety. And even more problems arise when we turn and run in the face of fear. Now this isn't to say you should be utterly fearless, either. It would be the height of stupidity to stand in the face of a predator that can kill you, when you have the option of running and possibly saving your own life in the process. No, fear, when it is healthy, is not fearlessness or stupidity. Nor is it cowardly and sniveling. But that is fear in balance, where we have control over our own emotions and they do not keep us from living our lives.
The fear that I'm writing about today is a little bit different. It is the kind that forces us to conform to society, turning squares into circles. Its what binds us and chains us, keeping us from discovering our own innate potential to its fullest. And we all have our reasons, each one as real and tangible as the next. And each one as viable as the next. We all are bound by family, religion, friends, and society (and the list can go on). They are our obligations and our ties to this world. And in healthy doses, these things keep us focused and grounded.
But when these things press so hard on a single person, an Empath in particular who has a problem with saying no, then it becomes an even bigger problem. Normal people, not just Empaths would lose themselves and their true identity in this situation. So I can not think that an Empath would fair much better. Because we are awash in other people and their expectations of us, we set aside who we truly are. And in the process lose track of what we set aside.
At first, its easier to give into others demands. But after a time, we become afraid of what we will find if we open that Pandora's box.
'I'm gay, but my religion says it is a sin to be this way.'
'I'm a Witch, and all of my family has turned away from me because of it.'
'I prefer to date interracially, but my parents hate this idea.'
These are only a few rather obvious examples. There are countless others which could rise out of that Pandora's box. Its all the things we wish to deny about ourselves. Its all the things we have been forced to wear a secret scarlet letter for, for no other reason but to appease society.
And why do we do this? Fear. Fear of being ostrasized by those we love. Fear of being excluded from those we count as friends. So tell me, who rules your life, you or fear? You or society? You or your friends? You or your family? Who holds the reins if not you?
So tell me, do you know what lays just beneath the surface of you? Do you even know who you are anymore? And if you do, are you to ashamed to show it to the world? Are you being true to yourself?
I can't answer these for you. I can merely pose the uncomfortable questions and make you think. But your never alone in your doubt and your secrets. We all have them. ^_^
"Courage is not the lack of fear but the ability to face it."
---- Lt. John B. Putnam Jr. (1921-1944)