Facing it: the fear of fear

person drowns in fear coffee cup

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” Eleanor Roosevelt

(Utterly amazing lady, if you ever feel like being inspired just Google her quotes. Awesome.)

As a culture we have learned to fear fear, yet it is undoubtedly part of the natural ebb and flow of life since time began, as dark is necessary for light, fear is necessary for joy.

We think we want/should/deserve to be “happy”. So when we feel fear our reaction is to run away from it, to numb.

Each of us has our own numbing behaviour, it could be any compulsive version of the following: TV, the net, video games, shopping, work, gossiping, physical appearance, under/overeating, drugs/alcohol, sex, thinking…

But, as Bob Marley said “You can’t run away from yourself”.

Numbing is temporary. The feeling comes back sooner or later, possibly worse. You numb again. Endless cycles of numbing and self distraction occur. And you lose life, because as long as you are numbed to pain you are also numbed to genuine joy.

We forget that many times:

“The scary thing about a scary thing, is the scariness of it” Yogi Tea teabag

I know that my periods of grace and intense spiritual/emotional development have followed periods of utter darkness.

What if we knew that coming out the other side we would be stronger, wiser and more fully evolved? Would we fear fear less?

And what is this thing we think we cannot do? For a long time this meant tangible challenges to me: putting myself first, getting that dream job, leaving a relationship.

Now I think it’s much more ethereal than that: when faced with fear the thing we think we cannot do is live with fear and come out the other side.

(Hint: that’s what we must do!)

One last quote, promise:

“Let everything happen to you. Beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is finalā€ Rainer Maria Rilke

*Thanks so much to this Daily Groove post that consolidated some thoughts I had had mulling. I subscribe to this email and I really couldn’t recommend it more highly (not just for parents, either)

**Apologies for the prolific quoting, I just couldn’t help it šŸ™‚

*** If you are interested in the subject of fear psychologically I also recommend this book by Dorothy Rowe

**** Last but not least, props to the cool little cartoon up top, found (as all my imagery) on photopin.com which I also really recommend for easy to find free photos for blogs šŸ™‚

***** No affiliate links to any of the above! But I should!

Facing it: the fear of fear

#elpida #hope

I posted this on Saturday night, high on angst and anticipation: would Greece vote in the same old corrupt and greedy conservatives? Or would they vote for “an adventure” (as the opposition called it, talk about making it seem fun!) or, at least, change.

As they tweeted late Sunday afternoon, “hope won” andĀ Greece voted in left-wing party Syriza on Sunday after years of conservative governments and crippling austerity.

As I said to a friend on Facebook “Bad for the banks and the Euro, maybe. But good for the people. These things are not one and the same”.

Things I like:

  • Tsipras doesn’t wear a tie *gasp*Ā (obvs whether you wear a tie isĀ paramount to whether you can run a country or not, as we have seen).
  • They areĀ going to allowĀ children of immigrant parents citizenship. Yes, that’s right, until now children (read: often BORN in Greece) of immigrants were not allowed citizenship. I’m really proud this will beĀ changed.
  • He has assigned a cabinet of “mavericks and visionaries”. Totes exciting. I almost want to move back!
  • Loads of other cool, people orientated, progressive stuff. Rock on.

I like this article on 5 things the new goverment will change. It’s really weird. It’s like these people are politicians AND care about the people and love Greece. It’s hard to fathom.

This is what political hope looks like.

#elpida #hope

Hairy tights definitely do not make the cut (wa, wa, waaaaa!)


It’s nothing new, but these hairy leg tight went viral last year in China. The idea is that by wearing these “anti-pervert tights” you will ward off unwanted attention and possible rapists.

What a load of BS. Most rapists are people the victim knows, and the lurking-in -the-bushes types are hardly going to check your leg hair.

And what, you go out all dressed up looking nice and then pop a pair of these on to ward off cat-calling? And totally ruin your look?!

Mainly, I totally disagree with the underlying message of these tights (or are they actually LEGGINGS?): that women have to dress “un-attractively” to avoid being harassed. It’s the same line of thinking that says a women deserves to be harassed/raped is she wears something attractive/sexy. Basically blames the victim for what happens to them.

Ridiculous. I love that Cosmo agrees with me *smug grin*.

As a final note, what’s wrong with hair anyway? I love the trend at the mo’ to dye armpit hair. It rocks!

Hairy tights definitely do not make the cut (wa, wa, waaaaa!)