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Friday, March 31, 2017

The anatomy of fear

A big portion of our life is spent dealing with this thing called fear. More often than not, fear comes in disguise. We don't realise it's essentially 'fear' we are facing. Sometimes it really annoys me when I'm sitting and just not feeling good. There seems to be no valid reason for it. I am a girl who goes by logic. I have everything I could need in life. There are always more aspirations, of course, but I don't crave them as such. Then why can't my heart be light and happy? What is it that draws me under, for no apparent reason? I was sitting and staring at my bookshelf, thinking about this, when I saw this book called Mastermind--How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes. I've always loved the way Holmes can sit and THINK logically and know answers to the most baffling questions. Could I solve this riddle in my life in the same way?

Turns out that even if you cannot 'solve' such questions, you can surely find yourself introspecting and having certain realisations that can help you understand it better. It's like the way it happens when you're feeling sick--unless you KNOW what's the cause of your illness, you'll keep getting paranoid and feeling worse. Knowing the cause immediately makes you feel a whole lot better, because you then know what to do about it. Knowing, understanding, is key.

I had also come across an article that talked about why our generation is generally more unhappy--the expectations we have from ourselves, drawn from the expectations our previous generation has from us, are way higher than what the current state of the world can afford. The world is changing too fast--and we're stuck with expectations that arose decades ago. We can't keep up with them. This, however, is a generation-wide case. What can be done is to KNOW that this is a problem and find your own ways of dealing with it.

So, what IS fear? What is it that makes us afraid of facing our fear? Here are some definitions I realised can be termed as our fears:

1. That feeling when you realise you might not fulfill a loved one's expectations. Or your own, for that matter.

2. Fear is not a 'pre' concept. You can feel fear for a situation that has already passed. You either did not feel it at that time or the intensity of other emotions was more than fear. This happened with me and adventure rides. I'd always been keen on rides that made you turn upside down, go full speed in dark tunnels, or make you enter creepy passageways, but later on when I stand and look at other people on those rides, I am fearful, a good number of what-ifs running through my mind, making my heart beat faster with anxiety. I'm scared of it all--AFTERWARDS. 

There have been other similar feelings--looking at the vulnerability of college-going kids sitting around the metro stations and realising you survived it all. That split-second shudder you get when you think about how you were lucky enough to have it smooth.

3. Fear is uncertainty. That feeling when a loved one doesn't pick your call(s); when you wait for a result; when you bite your nails thinking about a future event; when your heart beats rapidly before you have to address someone; when you want to know what the other person is thinking but you're afraid to ask. 
I feared this stream until I stepped into it
4. Fear is intuition's enemy. Fear likes to creep in silently or to surprise us, but our intuition warns us beforehand. 

5. Fear feeds on pessimism. Fear captures our mind when it's busy with what-ifs and have-nots. 

6. Fear lives in the mind. A child is fearless because she/he cannot differentiate between the dangerous and the safe. A child's mind has no compartments for fear to hide in. We are fearful of situations that have never happened, and that is where fear wins. It makes us keep thinking of something we don't want till we end up suffering from that very thing. 

7. Fear is ruthless. You can't plead with it to stop; you can't ask it to come later. 

 Well, I'm still a long way away from being like Holmes, but at least I managed to dissect the idea of fear to be able to better understand it (and write a post about it, which matters SO MUCH). Apart from this, there are some genuine reasons too (such as the pollution and stress and population and politics and whatever else we're surrounded with), but I still don't know why, even when you know the reasons, you can't shake off the anxious beating of your heart. My heart, for one, never ever listens to my brain's instructions. It's a spoilt brat that way.

Can you relate with this post? What do you think fear is? 


5 comments:

  1. hey first of all i like how your blog looks! So fresh.
    Fear is expressed nicely! for me fear is very much situational..U fear when you feel that their is someone with you...and you face your fear effectively when you think ,...u are the only one who can overcome it ;)

    ReplyDelete
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