Tired of waking in the morning, happy to be alive, eager to see the wonders of the day, only to watch that joy be overwhelmed – sometimes within minutes – by the ambiance of fear that shimmers in the people of my town, my country.
I am tired of trying to hold the center that I know is the real truth: There is far more wonder and excitement and care for our fellow travelers in the world than there is ugliness. I know this. I see it every day, the tender way we treat each other, the way we eagerly step forward to help someone out, the glory of fall foliage and blue skies, the satisfaction in jobs well done, big and small.
If I were to sit down each night and list the day’s good and bad events, the good list would be so long, that the bad would be infinitesimal.
We all know this, deep in our hearts. We know that we and our world are magical, wondrous, glorious. So why do we allow fear to overwhelm this knowledge? Why don’t we turn away from the bombardment of fear from our media, from our government, from our friends and co-workers? Why do we use it to sell things like medicines and fashion and ‘bad’ food and guns and no guns and hatred of what we don’t understand? If people around us feel frightened, we pick up on that emotion and make it ours – which makes it bigger, more pervasive, more powerful… just more. Why do we let fear dominate us? Are we all crazy?
People say to me, ‘But, Karen, people are dying – of torture, and war wounds, and disease, and starvation, and despair. It makes me sick at heart to see the suffering of others. We have to be aware of this so we can do something about it’.
That depends on what you do, doesn’t it? Because from where I’m standing, it seems that everything that anyone has tried to ‘do’ to correct something they perceive is wrong involves resistance to that thing, has involved trying to make others believe the way they do, and has always created something else to be fought against in the future. Worse, the motives behind the action have always been fear-based. Oh, some may call it righteousness, or outrage, or morality, but underneath is fear. Fear leads to resistance and resistance always leads to a rebound. Swing that pendulum wildly enough, and we’ll live in a constant state of fear and violence. Oh, wait.
I want to learn to live without fear. I know that things may happen that scare me, and in those times I want to recover my balance as quickly as I can. I also know that you can choose to live however you want, and it’s not my job, my right or my obligation to change how you live. At the moment, I am tired, tired of resisting fear. I don’t believe the alternative is to join in and be fearful. What I have to do, what I want to do, is get back to the part of me that knows the wonder and the beauty of this moment that is part of the wonder, the beauty, the joy of what is greater than this moment. I’ll be able to do it for a while, and each time I choose wonder over fear means I will be able to do that more easily the next time.