Oh God! Goose bumps, eyes bulging, heart pounding … you spring up from your crouching position, jump back and yell “help!” A big, black spider has just popped out from under a rock. You are five years old. One moment you are leisurely playing in the garden. The next you are frantically escaping a threat. You have had many such encounters in your life. The more intense ones you remember. The times you actually incurred physical pain are etched in your memory forever. Certain childhood fears are probably with you now. You shudder when confined in a small, closed space, perhaps an elevator. Snakes, insects, various animals startle you. Heights, boiling water, autos ‘barrelling’ down narrow streets … all can evoke a tingle of trepidation. Some bring beads of perspiration to your brow. Better not think about them. They make you uncomfortable.
You learn to accommodate most of your fears. You realize they are ‘irrational’ and a handicap in your trying to lead a ‘normal’, productive life. Though you may be afraid to fly in a plane, you do. Surges of escalating anxiety are masked by listening to music, reading or imbibing. Anything to allay frantic feelings. You don’t need them; you don’t want them. But you can never banish fears. They protect you and ‘yours’. “Watch out!” Remember the last time you said that? Your child running across a street? Best keep an eye on the little tyke!
So you go about your life knowing that at any moment you may be accosted. You try to be careful. You take precautions. You do your best to avoid ‘situations’. You do not experience fear too often, mostly in an automobile when a collision seems imminent. “Wow! Just missed the bastard!” You learn to accept fear as part of your life. You function fine as long as it does not overwhelm you. If it does, well, you might want to seek therapy … ESPECIALLY … if you are caught up in a morass of ego enhancing fearfulness that emanates from pride. Say what!?
Consider: Do you worry about what people think of you? Do you live in fear of not pleasing someone? Of not being accepted by someone? Of not having a certain projected image of yourself admired by others? Are your thoughts, your ambitions and goals, skewed by your desire to be praised? Regarded as wonderful, even great? Amazing how much the ego wants to achieve a lofty position in society. Though most people are too self-centered to really care about what you do or say, to say nothing about who you really are, you are inclined to let juvenile, self-consciousness motivate you. “How do I look?” “Did she like me?” “Wasn’t I fabulous?” Deep down you realize this foolishness. But like all self-serving activity, you can easily make a habit of inflating your ego. It ‘feels’ sooo nice to be envied, even worshiped. No one notices your flaws. Some semblance of perfection is attained by you if only in your projection of it into the eyes of others. This coddling self-deception may ‘work’ … but not for long. Deep down there is the YOU that is real. And that YOU cannot thrive as long as the pride of self-grandiosity thwarts love.
Being happy IS your goal. Truly loving is the only means of achieving it. Allowing yourself to live in fear of what the world thinks of you undermines this. You can go on and on being concerned with ‘image’, measuring your ‘worth’ by lapdogs cooing at your feet … constantly worried about ‘falling out of favour’, of incurring distain and alienation. This tenacious self-centeredness actually ‘pushes’ people away from you. Who is attracted to someone corrupted by their own delusions of self-importance? To an individual who cares not for anyone but themselves?
Do not let fears of rejection dictate a life
concerned with the approbation of others. Whatever praise you
may garner is fleeting and probably just an accommodation. You
must TRUST the goodness in your heart. KNOW that your sincerity
and constant concern for others makes you very attractive. Your
heart will be at peace.