Before you wonder if this post was sponsored by new-agey books or mind-altering drugs, I can assure you, it wasn’t. It was, however, loosely inspired by Six Feet Under, the long-off-the-air HBO TV show that I’d never seen a single, full episode of until these past two weeks.
Let’s pause and take a quote from it that really sums up how amazing, and impactful, the dialogue was:
“…Be completely forgotten when I’m gone and totally forgettable while I’m here.” – Russell Corwin
Now, I don’t necessarily want to live my life that way, actually it’s quite the opposite. I fear being forgotten and I’m painfully aware of how often, and just how easily, that can happen. You do the day to day, you get into a pattern and then seventy years blow by before you realized that that’s your life. A series of day-to-days, of routine and patterns and comfort zones.
I don’t want to get to that point and feel those feelings. I want to do everything in my power to stave off that “oh fuck, I didn’t do all the amazing things I wanted to do” stage of regret. I want to *not *be afraid of the simplicities, or even the big things. I don’t want to be afraid of failure anymore, or success. I don’t want to say no or decline or worry or fret or be anything less than I am capable of being.
I need to not be lazy or complacent or comfortable. I have to break away from that safe little zone and try things, push myself, test and challenge my physical breaking points and shatter every barrier I’ve mentally constructed. Because they serve no purpose and the benefit no one. Not only am I missing out on the opportunities that I refuse myself, but the world misses out on what I might have to offer.
I know, I know. It sounds quite selfish, but it is 100% true. If you, or me, or any of us, refuse our God-given talents and trick ourselves into believing we can’t, or it won’t happen, or the time isn’t right, or why **me – **nothing ever will happen, or can ever change. We won’t move forward, we won’t grow. There will be no room for betterment or any incentive to achieve such status.
But if we hold on to hope, if we believe that we can, that it’s possible – it will happen. It *will *happen. The things you want for yourself, you can obtain them. The dreams you hold, you can realize them. *I *can do the same.
And Six Feet Under, in all of its oddness, showed me this. That life is so fucking beautiful; in its imperfections and ugliness, there is nothing about life that should deter us from living it. Sure, there are scary things, sad things, unbelievably horrid things, but there is so much more good to it. Fear is what changes us at our core, the thing that alters us and keeps our souls in that shadowland forever, if we allow it.
Fear is worst than money, greed, jealousy, bitterness, broken hearts, and desperation. It is the root of ruin and our single greatest flaw as human beings. And yet, there is a quiet thankfulness that is owed to it, I think. Fear is the small seam that lets slip just enough light to keep us aware that we *are *human. Could you imagine life without a little bit of fear every now and then?
How short our lives would be, how cruel we’d be to one another, how ruthless and cold every day might be? Sure, there would be exhilaration and unhindered accomplishments and excitement and full, shallow lives, but there’d be no balance, no way to tell wrong from right.
Maybe I’m digging far too deeply into it, but it all comes down to that one word: Balance. The light and the shadows, the good, the bad, the fight or flight. I trust in this wholeheartedly. So yes, as much as fear can ruin us, it also saves and preserves us to a degree. If we recognize that it’s there, that its presence is meant to keep the balance in line, then we can acknowledge it and decide the right course of action.
But it’s when we allow this fear to overrun ourselves that things fall off track and go so far askew. It’s the “oh no, I couldn’t possibly” or the “well, I just don’t have the time”-sims that do us in, so why not see them for what they are: self-reducing thoughts that try to gain control over our lives. Why not smash them to bits when we see these devils living there and move on. Don’t dwell on your spotting it, don’t boast that you’ve outfoxed the fox – just move on.
You’ll gain the experience and the know-how to see fear more clearly in the future and that’s what matters. Not who wins, not who loses, or what’s been forfeited. It’s the wisdom that returns to teach us time and again.
So, thank your little fear monger, appreciate it and then set it free. And you’ll fair fine without it. Just…don’t go riding rollercoasters without safety belts or sit on the hoods of cars for no good reason. 😉