Fear is at the root of all negative emotions.
While we believe that sometimes our fear is rational and other times it is irrational, that belief is just an illusion.
The truth is, whenever fear is present, we are out of control.
Fear is a primal emotion. We can be conditioned to feel afraid but we are also afraid due to things that we have learned throughout time and those memories have been stored deep within our DNA.
However, threats have changed dramatically throughout history. So whatever we may have been fearful of thousands of years ago may still be trapped in our unconscious mind today. Even if we have no need to be afraid, the instinct will still arise within us to fight or flee.
Fear overcomes us when we feel as though we are in some kind of danger. Whenever we feel there is a threat.
We are most afraid when we do not understand something. Or someone.
Anything that feels “different” can cause this emotion to rise within us. The more attention we pay to the fear, the more the fear feels real.
Whenever we think about anything for long enough, emotion attaches to the thought. As emotion attaches itself, visual images join in too. Soon enough we have our own unique illustrated story book that we read to ourselves over and again. We begin to believe the story, because, we start to feel it. So, therefore, it must be true!
Soon enough this story becomes our bedtime reading. When the lights go out and the room is dark the story repeats in our minds.
Even if we don’t realise it is repeating, because we have thought about it often enough, it becomes stuck in our subconscious like a grooved record. Certain words will replay loud and clear and the images become vivid. And they haunt us.
We can turn on the light at any time and shed light on this dark tale, but by now, we are frozen by our own fear.
The thought that we once had, that was just an instinctive response to fear, has now become a horror story. A psychological thriller.
What once was just a thought with an image attached to it then became a nightmare that awakens us and we think about it some more as we lie there trembling in the still of the night.
The light is just an arm length away but we don’t flick it on. We are too afraid. Plus, we believe this nightmare is real so we don’t know what might happen to us if we move. We stay paralysed. Instead we go over the story in fine detail just in case we might have missed something that can free us. There must be an escape route from this hell that exists in our minds. So we focus harder and add more emotion and the feelings overtake us until we believe every scene of the performance that is slowly playing out before us.
Of course, there is an escape route. The light. As soon as we switch on the light, the fear will dissipate.
As soon as we let in some hope, our fear will have no choice but to back away.
The darkness is afraid of the light. With one flicker the darkness dies.
The crazy thing is that the first thought that led to this fear was quite rational. It’s all the other thoughts that tumbled after it that are the issue. The thoughts build up until they become a powerful wall that not only is difficult to break down, but it also prevents us from seeing the truth.
We can never see things clearly when we are afraid.
So, I refuse to live my life in fear.
I am no longer afraid of the dark. I keep my thoughts light.
And now fear cannot control me like it used to. As soon as it sneaks up I remember how much light there is in the world compared to darkness. And even when the room is in the dark I can instantly make the decision to switch on the light and banish it.
The same principle apples to my mind. I can be frozen by fear and live in the dark, constantly afraid of what I can’t see or what may or may not be happening.
I remind myself. I am only afraid of what I don’t know, what I cannot see or what I do not yet understand.
So I make my world brighter. I think of the sunshine, laughter, joy, peace, and happiness…but most of all I think about love. Love is everywhere. And love always conquers fear.
I will not be afraid. Not ever.
Because when I am afraid, the monsters in the dark have gained control.
Author: Alex Myles
Editor: Travis May