Transmuting Fear — A manifesto

Running toward what scares us in an age of fear.

We are addicted to fear.

The news didn’t start reporting seemingly exclusively shitty things because we weren’t watching it. When the news outlets realized that making money was more important than informing its citizens — they became reflective of us. Slaves to ratings, they had to dole out what we wanted to consume.

Lead with the junk food, click-bait title of the top 10 new things that can kill you today. The top 5 things you didn’t realize you should be terrified of.

Zombie, disease, horror, dystopia and armageddon movies and t.v. franchises didn’t start raking in shitloads of cash because we prefer to only think in terms of happy endings.

We are completely addicted.

We are paralyzed. We are the perpetual deer in headlights. Drowning in the fatigue of pointless choices and afraid of the consequences of these micro decisions, we are make none. We actively (though not consciously) choose to stagnate in our fears by choosing not to change.

Fear, at one point, was a response our minds and bodies generated to spur us into action. Where once we were meant to have an adrenaline spike to run from predators and save our lives. Those who responded to fear were the ones who survived.

And this will become true again.

Fear does not get to be projected outward and onto us, it is defined from within. Fuck fear. No, fuck being told what to fear. It’s time to silence the noise.

My fears are the ones that get to be honoured. My mountains to be climbed.

As am able to name a fear, I shall find a way to conquer it. It might take the shape of a tiny step, a 20 mile march, or a paradoxically simple leap of faith.

I stand toe to toe with my fears.

They have not come equipped for the battle. So much in life is outside my control. My fears are my own and do not get to be dictated to me. When a fear can be pinpointed, is the same moment it gets to stand in the crosshairs. There is nothing to be gained from being locked into fear but stagnation. I want to grow, I need to grow, I ache to grow. I release my fears by stepping into them. The only judgement that may guide me is my own, and my only judgement is regret. My only regrets are in things not done due to fear.

False idols of protection. That being vulnerable might not be worth it. This does not get to be a factor.

Life is a messy, chaotic, struggle filled, living painting of profound beauty.

How dare I keep the palette grey for fear that my shade of blue might offend someone, as long as I act through genuine openness and love? If all experience is by contrast, than how can my vulnerability do anything but offer potential value?

I’ve lived a life laden with struggles, many shocking and destructive to the foundation. Comparison is irrelevant, and so are the details. We have all perceived struggle in our lives. It is a factor in life that we are graced with, so that we may grow.

So how dare we be so arrogant to think that we may avoid it? Struggle is as bound to us as is our potential. Our potential is only limited by our choices.

Do not stand still in the face of your fears.

Lean into them, and step through them in any way you can. Take your baby steps, crawl, drag yourself inch by precious inch towards them — never away. Your fear is the lighthouse of what you know is right for you. Do not fear the consequences of facing your fears. Be terrified of the ramifications of never trying to face them.

Fail. Fail hard. Then get the fuck back up. Stand taller. Learn from it. Forgive yourself. It’s par for the course.

Don’t give sidelong glances wondering who saw you trip — their judgements only come from their own fears. Everyone else will be enriched from sharing in your experience.

But I can’t, I’m afraid — becomes — because I’m afraid, I must.

Because I’m afraid, I must share this with you. I must step up to, into and through that fear and bring it to it’s knees. All while holding my arms wide open. For every threshold of fear I pull myself through, the next one diminishes in power.

I will not be stifled. I cannot be contained. I have experiences, and experiences have value, therefore so do I. I will become the unchecked storm of potential that I feared to dream that I could be.

If a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, then I shall inch my way forward until I can march. I will march until I can no longer live. I will march into myself and uncover my fears, so that I may walk through them stronger with every step.

For nothing in my life has every been as rewarding as finding strength I wanted to believe was there. Having it laid bare, honest and plain to see.

I will become more unapologetically and authentically me.

And so will you.

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