I notice we hurt each other with our fear so much.
The husband who snaps at the wife for making an innocent mistake about what he was going to do–his fear from the weight of past unjust expectations makes him yell at her “why did you say that? Would you say something I am not going to do?”
The dad who flinches every time her daughter did something he fears would offend others, making her sad once again of not winning his approval.
The mother who becomes impatient with her baby, fearful of what potential negative reactions she would be receiving from the men she had to negotiate with.
Life is full of fears. Some of them are justified based on the social position and circumstances we occupy–some of us are more vulnerable to being hurt because of our gender, race, age, immigrant status, sexual orientation. Even if we are brave in trudging ahead, we are aware of the possibility of being told off, discriminated against, yelled at, sneered at or even hurt physically more than others. Then there are other fears, in fact, all fears justified by what we have been through in the past as child version of our current self. Those fears, I believe, we can cast and should cast aside. Not all of those things that hurt us in the past have left us–our parents or teachers are no longer scary, but our environment or politics might still pose threat, but we can choose either to live in anticipation of them or weaken the impact they have on our lives and fearlessly march into every corner of life we want to explore. At times we will be deathly afraid, our body has long and dark memories that can send our heart into a quavering state in anticipation of verbal insult or violence. Nonetheless, we must bravely tell ourselves, no matter what happens, and what danger befall us, we will be okay. We are no longer the vulnerable child we once were, whatever happens, we can fight back now. We have no choice because to live otherwise in fear constantly will mean we are curled into a ball of defenses, limiting our possibilities and hurting those who care about us and whom we care about.
Chances are, we will discover, most of the time, by that sheer belief “we will be okay” alone, we have chased away a lot of demons of the past, those outside of us and inside of us. And we find ourselves in a safe place, emotionally and physically. I love myself, I love my life, I love those around me. I will conquer my fears for their sake and mine, and I hope they will do the same.