You don’t need to sleep with your dog, to feel safe !
I am 40, and I am scared to “sleep alone”. So what do I do ? I buy a dog, to give me, company. Now the dog sleeps and I am still, scared. This is what happens with most of us. Take a look at you life and replace “sleep alone” part, with any fear, you have in mind. You would realise, that you have a imaginary dog, whose is perhaps helping you alley that fear. Now, you have two choices, one is the let that fear fester and let it take over, your life, while you find a dog to cuddle, the second is to confront it, day in and day out, until the fear itself realises that its not “FEAR” anymore. Most of us choose the former, because we treat our fear as something external which can managed, externally, akin to, its raining, so let’s take an umbrella. However, fear is very inside you, and there is only the one umbrella to open, your own mind.
Back to my story. So, one day, I decided to one day sleep alone. I let my dog go to sleep in another room, and made my bed to retire. I was about to lie down, shit hit the fan, in my mind ofcourse, as I scared to confront that night, alone. I would imagine things, like those ghost movies, walking, looking onto me, nudging my leg all while, I slept. And, yet I decided to go ahead and confront the fear. It took me a couple of hours, but before I knew, or rather didn’t know, that I had slept. I woke up the next day, feeling proud and little less fearful. I knew the fear would come, again tonight, because you see, fear loves to play by the hour (it plays on your circumstances) and it would confronts you, when you are dreading it.
This, is true of everything in life. Its true of time when you have to do, public speaking. It true of the time, when you have to call someone and say “no”. Its true of the time when you have to start a new business, when you have to make that presentation, or even when you have to propose to that loved one of your life, or not quite the last, one I suppose :)
But then what do we do ? We find that cuddly dog, that cigarette light, that alcoholic beverage, that awesome treat when we are fearful. This perhaps is our bodies natural response to years of conditioning. Like the fear of sleeping alone, perhaps stems from that DNA which was passed on by my primitive ancestors who would live in a cave while blood thirsty animals roamed, the wild. But, now that’s no longer the case, as I lie in the comfort of my bed, in my house, in an apartment, guarded by security guards. Yet, my fear consumes me in a way, that it feels, almost impossible to tide over unless I get support from someone or something.
Here’s what I want you to do, when you face fear next time. Take a deep breath and become conscious of “it”. Close your eyes and tell yourself that this is an opportunity for you to over come “it”. Don’t seek support of that dog, chocolate, or cigarette. Incrementally, confront it. What do I mean by incremental confrontation ? What I mean, is to break it down into smaller pieces of “fear” and confront it piece meal. In my case, I began by simply closing my eyes for those microseconds, when I could. Next, I turned over and slept over the other side, away from the door. Finally, I told my self that, I am going to keep my eyes closed for as long as I can. I fell asleep, shortly. The next day was important, as I was able to confront the fear better, I no longer needed the dog to confront my fear. As days followed, I felt liberated and my relationship with that dog was one of mutual love and affection, rather than that of need. Wouldn’t life be great if you can eat that chocolate not when you need it but when you want it. Well, you see need, like everything else, makes you feel like you have to give back, it makes you indebted. This, only panders to your sense of dependence, on that individual / thing, incrementally, thus prejudicing your judgement.
The real independence in life is to be able to make, a bi-partisan decision on any topic, impervious to fear of indignation.
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