We all have things we’re afraid of : Spiders, Cockroaches, Dogs.. I’m most afraid of lizards and snakes. When I see a lizard around the house, I feel like my worst nightmare has come true. I run from that room. But is that really true? Are lizards, snakes, spiders, cats and dogs really our biggest fear?
There is something in us that is more emotional than those. A fear that only we know. That only we understand. A fear that surfaces every time we try something new. Every time we take a leap of faith. Mine is Rejection & Failure. When I like someone, I want to tell him. When I do, I clench my fists, praying he won’t say no. It’s not that I can’t take it if he does. I can. But somehow, I pray he won’t. I’m afraid of the “No”. I’m afraid to apply for a job and never hear back from them. I’m afraid to apply to university and get a letter that says “Not accepted.” Even though, I can live with it, I fear it. I’m afraid of the first emotion that happens. That moment my heart falls. And as far as failure goes, I wasn’t the brightest student in school. I hated school. I failed constantly, exam after exam, test after test. It didn’t bother me. I was completely fine with it. But there are certain things I’m afraid of failing in. Like keeping up my bucket list. Not doing all the things I want to do with my life. I am afraid that I might wake up one day and realize, I’ve done nothing with my life. I’ve wasted it. I’ve failed at it. And I don’t like failure.
Sure, there are quotes that make you feel like it isn’t the end of the world. Like the dialogue Rick Castle from the TV series Castle says. “Rejection isn’t failure. Failure is giving up.” It motivates me in that second. It makes me feel like it’s ok. It’s not the end of the world. Ten minutes later, I’m right back to where I was.
But beyond emotional fear, there’s a fear we have. A fear that is more literal than emotional. A fear of future. Of life. We don’t want certain things in our life. We are afraid of it, every day. It differs with each person. A mother fears her child’s safety. A couple fears separation. A cross-cultured couple fear parents’ approval. A homosexual fears acceptance. A student fears exam results. A patient fears death. Like I said, differs with every person.
My biggest fear for the future, in life : Failed marriage. If there ever came a day when I have to be standing at a divorce court, I know my mind would rather be dead. Every time I think of marriage, I fear a failed one. No matter how safe the guy makes me feel, I know this fear will live on till the end of my life. Our fears of life are usually from our surroundings. We don’t want what we’ve seen happen to someone else. We don’t want our child kidnapped like the one in the paper. We don’t want our parents throwing us out for being gay like the other gay kid’s parents did. We don’t want to fail like that one guy in our class did. So we restrain ourselves. We’re careful with things. We tip-toe around our fears. We give our kids a cell phone to keep track of them at all times. We refuse to come out until we know they can’t do anything about it. We bury ourselves in our books until we know there is no possibility of failure.
Even the most rebellious kid on the block fails to realize – his choices aren’t purely made by him. His choices are dictated by his fears. But what if you faced your fears? What if you dealt with it face-to-face and said “Bring it on!” ?
I had a fear. It was something that scared me to the very depth of my bones. The fear of losing someone I fall in love with. I stayed away from love. I told myself, I’ll keep my heart protected. I’ll put up walls nobody can ever break down. Nothing can happen then right? But then I met someone who tore those walls down. I fell insanely in love with him. A year and few months later, he walked away. I loved and I lost. I remember that day. Standing outside my university campus with my best friend. I couldn’t cry. I was in shock. I felt like a dead person. It was like I had no emotions. When I was finally able to get my thoughts and my emotions back, I felt broken. My fear was here. It had happened. And it sucked. Time passed by.. A year. Two. I was able to breathe again. I lived. My emotions were fine. My heart still bore a scar but it was back to normal. I surrounded myself with people that love me. With friends who cared. I had hope for the future again. I regained my faith in fairytales. I’d had my worst fear come true and I’d lived !
It taught me a lesson. Something I will keep with me for a long time to come. It taught me to face my fears. It taught me that that was, in fact, good for me. It made me stronger. And here’s the bonus : Now I know what it feels like ! The next time I love and lose, I know what to expect ! Coz remember.. Fear is always of the unknown !
So, What’s your biggest fear? What are you afraid of ? Face it ! Once you know what it’s about, it can no longer scare you. And if you need someone to hold your hand while you enter that dark room, call me and I’ll jump at the chance..