Archives for posts with tag: no fear

The alarm was harsh in my ears. I was facing away from it as I slept, but didn’t understand that for some seconds as I flailed around seeking it with my hand. Now mostly dressed, coffee made, I’m still rubbing the sleep from my eyes and trying to shake off this fog in my head. Slow start to the morning.

Lovely evening behind me. We went out for dinner. Came home and relaxed. My Traveling Partner shined a different pair of my boots, as I watched. He’s skillful. Works with care. We talk about boots. Life. Shopping. It’s a gentle evening, and by bedtime – shiny boots. 😀 I pulled them on this morning with great delight. They are a shiny wonder, and there is immense joy and love in making them so. I definitely feel loved. 😀

There’s got to be a metaphor here… my reflection… my partner’s love and effort creating the mirror. 🙂

Less important, but no less remarkable… I saw an ex yesterday. They did not see me, so it seems. Seeing them, at my workplace, would have been a meltdown moment, perhaps as recently even as last year. This occasion? Unimportant except for one, very specific thing; the fact that it wasn’t important is so important. Wow. Hell of a “report card” there. 😀 No panic attack. No hysterics. No running and hiding. No lingering storm of terrible emotion. No aftermath of endless tears. No feeling like I was drowning. Just… a woman noticing that someone she has no interest in seeing or associating with passing through shared space, unaware of her presence. I let it go, and got back to work.

Strange juxtaposition of experiences. Thought-provoking. I’ll save further reflection for another time. I see by the clock on the computer that it is already time to begin again. This new day won’t live itself. 😉

I am groggy this morning. As I scrolled through my feeds, skimming headlines, I felt a sad tug on my heart to see so much violence and hate. It’s hard to watch. Fear and anger escalating with the excessive media use of buzzwords and sensationalism to gain readers (and dollars), and more or less mostly innocent citizen bystanders (consumers) caught in that sticky web of emotion and salesmanship. I found myself actually feeling physically ill, and surprised by the intensity of my reaction – then realized I was probably nauseous from my medication this morning.

It is easy to be swept away by powerful emotions.

It is easy to be swept away by powerful emotions.

I heard footsteps run past my front door, which is unusual at any hour in this neighborhood, and somewhat alarming at 5:45 am. Combined with the negative headlines, I feel my anxiety creeping up, and ‘home defense’ drifts across my thought-scape. I recognize the trend, and pause for a few deep breaths, taking time to re-engage in ‘now‘; I am okay right now, and there is nothing in my real experience of the  morning to cause me fear or hurt me. It’s pouring rain outside, and a stranger running by is likely just trying to get from the parking lot to the front door without being drenched. Fear doesn’t care about reason, and I find more often than not that taking time to be present in this moment right here, and awake, aware, and mindful there is nothing for fear to build on. There are plenty of terrifying ‘what-if’ scenarios I could run in my head, and even make life decisions on, but it seems a foolish waste of limited mortal lifetime, when there is also so much joy in which I could invest, and partake.

Violence does exist. Choosing not to live minute-to-minute defending myself from fear of violence is one of many possible choices. I have friends who choose differently, and live prepared for violence with an ample arsenal of firearms, open carry permits, and weekend visits to the range for target practice just in case violence ever visits them at home. I have other friends who choose to live with the fear of violence, and without taking any particular steps to secure their own safety, just taking on the fear itself, deepening and investing in it, and letting their fear drive their decisions and rhetoric. I have friends who do neither; they are not convinced that violence exists in any real sense, they have experienced little of it themselves and for them it is very far away and abstract. I know people, they are not those I would call ‘friend’, who live differently with violence; they are violent. People who lash out in anger, seeking to do harm, to injure, to be avenged, to punish – they see themselves as righteous and justified, doing what is ‘right’ or ‘necessary’, and don’t recognize the damage done as being in any way wrong. I see them out in the world, snarling at their loved ones on cell phones, or on the bus, spewing righteous anger and vexation in interactions with strangers – people they couldn’t possibly know well enough to hate – and treating their loved ones even worse. The headlines tell the tale of each of the many sorts of human beings interacting with each other. Violence added to the mix generates sales headlines. Scary sort of world we’ve built, isn’t it? We’ve chosen this. You and I – all of us together – this is the world we have made.

How will I make the world better, myself, in some small way? How will you? If enough of us just keep at it, can we turn this thing around? It probably begins with small simple things, like not yelling at your partner in a moment of anger, or like really listening when a woman is talking about the challenges in her experience of being female, or like taking a deep breath and not freaking out when something goes wrong, and maybe also putting down the handheld devices and making eye contact – and conversation. Setting aside the inflammatory news articles might also be a good start, and maybe sharing positive news more often than negative news could be helpful, too. We could cast our vote with great care, really thinking about the consequences of our choice, by thinking ahead to ‘our’ candidate winning, and imagining the reality of every one of their stated policies becoming real – what would that be like for us? For those people over there? For someone else? We could fact check our fears, too, that might be useful, and refrain from getting into emotionally driven arguments with people when neither involved party has an educated insight into the issues, rather than just spewing emotional garbage at each other until someone gets hurt. We could approach every interaction with another human being as though that other human being is (they are) every bit as human as we are, ourselves – and fully due the same consideration and courtesy we would enjoy experiencing, and then behave that way. We could each simply not kill someone today, or tomorrow, and also refrain from voting for – or hiring – people who seem to favor violence, killing, or incarceration as a solution to the world’s problems. We could invest more of our global resources in human life, than in ending it – both right here and home, and over there on foreign shores.

Domestic violence is not a separate thing from war. Child abuse is not a separate thing from terrorism. Hate is hate. Fear is fear. Abuse of power isn’t less abusive when it is between a parent and a child than it is between an elected leader and the constituency, or between law enforcement and a citizen – but we’ve trained ourselves to excuse so much violence in the day-to-day social landscape that we are ill-equipped to reject it at all. Enraged screaming, slamming things, and breaking stuff at home is not a far distance to travel to murder – and tolerating it socially by making excuses for domestic violence is not a far distance to travel to sending strangers children to die in foreign wars by voting for fear-mongering xenophobic extremists. Seriously. We are each so very human… Fear is easy. Anger is easy. Hate is easy. We have the potential to offer each other so much more. Choose. You can, and so can I – and we do.

This seems glum this morning. I don’t mean it to, honestly. I feel rather hopeful – the very power to choose that finds us here with the world in the state it is,  is so profoundly powerful that we have each moment, this moment, every moment, to choose differently. I guess that while that is indeed incredibly hopeful and promising, it’s a tad glum too, because the people who could benefit the world by choosing differently than they do are not likely to be the people who read the words I write – and I am just one voice. I am regularly cautioned that I am ‘not being realistic’ or that I ‘don’t understand violence’ – often based on the assumption that I have little experience with it. It’s frustrating – sometimes frustrating enough to evoke actual anger, a powerful reminder of how easily we could be tempted to stray into the realm of violence ourselves, in a moment of emotion.

Be love.

Be love.

Here’s the thing though, the hopeful bit, we really do have the power to choose change. It’s a good day to change the world.