So, What Are You Afraid Of?

As a social scientist I constantly examine my place in the world and interaction with others. I realize I am always looking at how I move through my surroundings and those I come in contact with. I believe when it comes to conquering fears that are instilled in us by our own culture and societal norms, one must be self-aware and also examine and be prepared to reject much of the societal expectations that have been placed on us. In other words, reject what you are being told you should be and be yourself. We are all being told we are not perfect, ideal, smart or sexy enough, when we should be embracing our uniqueness. The things we need to buy in order to become a better us are dictated to us constantly. That’s a lie. We need to be focused on loving ourselves, not on what “they” tell us we need to do in order to conform.  

Every day I see people who are afraid, lonely, unhappy and insecure. I think we need to stop being afraid to give and receive love. This has nothing to do with sex. It is about opening yourself up to others, genuinely caring about them and being able to empathize. Don’t give in to those who want you to think of everyone else as the “others”, as less than. Think about why you dislike certain people. If they have been horrible to you, perhaps forgive them and move on. If not, re-evaluate what has made you feel the way you do about them. It is not okay to hold on to all of the negative, angry thoughts and feelings you have. It only weighs you down and makes you miserable. Try to let it go and move forward. Do what you need to do to find joy, passion and love, for yourself and those around you.

I’m not talking about giving up everything and living in a tent somewhere (unless that is what will make you truly happy). I’m saying we need to be able to see things that influence us in a negative way for what they are. For me it is television, Corporate America, politics, the business of “beauty” and fallout from a horrible break up that re-surfaces when I least expect it. To be able to cut as many of those negative things out of our daily existence as possible, that is the way to silence the voices that are influencing us and start conquering many of our fears. Once you’re not focused on the overwhelming horror stories on the nightly news or thinking about something bad that happened to you or constantly being bombarded with images of what corporations say is the standard for beauty, you can move forward in a positive frame of mind.

We also need to be able to hold those influences at arms-length and really examine what good there is in the world, in addition to the bad. Stop being afraid to live your life. Don’t let the media scare you into hating another race or culture or group of people. Stop hiding in your house, at work, in your day to day activities. I have encounters with both positive and negative people every day. Some days it’s hard to ignore those who seem bound and determined to dump on others and I feel sorry for them. They are missing out on the opportunity to really dig in and enjoy their lives. If I could do one thing for you, for everyone, it would be to help you let that negative, fear-driven stuff go and start finding out who you are, what you need (versus want) and what really makes you happy.

Fear is a 4-letter word, but then so are other words like good, give, hugs, dogs, cats, kids, live and most important of all – love. So get out there, hold your head up high, enjoy this life you’ve been given and share the love.