I lived in caves, boats, hostels, apartments, houses, hotels, resorts. Slept on the beach, in the fields, on couches, in hammocks, cars, benches, feather beds. Showered in the rain, oceans, rivers, sprinklers, bathrooms. Hitchhiked, walked barefoot, rode camels, horses, traveled by bicycles, motorcycles, cars, buses, trains, planes. Ate from dumpsters, fresh from the fields, grubs and nuts from the forest floor, at Michelin star restaurants, and everything in between. Befriended homeless people, prostitutes, drug addicts, CEOs, artists, lawyers, conservatives, liberals, people of all religions, colors and races, gays, anti-gays and people all over the sexuality spectrum. When I reflect on that, I realize that Roosevelt was right: “There’s nothing to fear but fear itself”. That doesn’t mean I am fearless, far from it. I just acknowledge and examine my fears, which I have every single minute of every single day. Sometimes I choose to act on them, often not. The more data I accumulate against my fears, the easier it gets to not let them run the show. It’s a practice and challenge that I enjoy.
Most of our fears are inherited and irrational. We hardly ever examine the validity or the applicability of our fears and we pass them on to future generations who do the same. We’re all fleas in a jar*. Even though the lid had been removed long ago, we still behave as if it’s still there.
We fear change, death, nature, mistakes, failure, judgement, the unknown, things we cannot control, ideas that don’t match ours, wild life…etc. When all these are, in fact, NATURAL and INEVITABLE. How crazy is that?!? We’re like a kitten who’s afraid of its own shadow. Our irrational fears are destroying our health, well being, vitality and the Earth we call home.
Can you imagine life without irrational fear? What’s the first thing you would do, if you had no fear?
* If you put fleas in a jar and close the lid, they will adapt and jump only as high as the lid, even after you remove the lid.