Fear.

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Fear is that every faithful companion we cloak ourselves in day after day, night after night. A cloak woven from all the pain and shame we’ve experienced throughout life, our collection of traumas both large and small. It is fear that stops us from taking a risk, speaking from the heart, finding compassion for those who we don’t see eye to eye. Bundled in our blanket of fear we judge, criticize, tear others to the ground while remaining in our safe cocoon. The armor that we barricaded ourselves with is the same protection that limits our ability to grow, to connect, to expand. Perhaps throughout the years we learn to mask that fear by creating a hard exterior, an aggression and distance from anything that feels unfamiliar or that threatens what we believe to be true. For in the confines of fear it is impossible to hear the opinions of others, it’s impossible to see beyond the scope of our own rigidity.

This aggression towards one another, this newfound ability to find validation no matter your opinion is breeding a world of separation. In the separation we are both afraid to look within ourselves to find the spaces where we have contributed to the suffering, and look at our relationships with others to find where we might resist the challenging conversation. It doesn’t matter if you are from this part of the party or that, if you believe in this God or that spirit, no matter your sexual orientation, it matters that we are all here together, facing the same challenges, struggling for the same survival. There is a fundamental layer at the bottom of all things that connects each and every living thing on this planet. We’ve come to a junction in humanity where it is no longer an option to pull the wool over your eyes. It is no longer an option to point fingers, to be a victim, to blame. It is imperative that we take a good hard look at ourselves, and then prepare to do the difficult thing. Interact with people who have opposing views, challenge yourself beyond the safety of your comfort zone, take the leap you have been avoiding.

Ultimately we all want to feel a sense of belonging, of purpose, we want to feel validated in who we are and the life we’ve chosen. But it must be understood that once the dissection of fear begins, it may very well turn your own existence upside down. You may find yourself more jumbled and confused than before, feeling layers of pain you couldn’t fathom. And yet, amidst the twists and turns of self-exploration, you discover who you are authentically, before the struggles of life swooped in and hardened you into something else entirely. In that space there is a great release, a sigh of sorts, a moment of letting go, a realization that you don’t have to carry that weight around any longer. To evolve as a species we must learn to evolve as a single entity, for all is one. It begins by looking at yourself, the things you don’t want to see, really owning where you might be falling short, where you might hold responsibility, and stepping into the unknown. What you fear, or who you fear, might very well be the thing holding you back. 

Anna VanugaComment