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the mind that lives in fear

angelica yeleshwarapu

Fear is the greatest human problem. We fear failure, loneliness, uncertainty, the past, the future, public opinion, being unlovable, people, ourselves. We fear when we compare ourselves to some person, some ideal, some physical trait, because in hopes of becoming something, fear sits in the back of our minds telling us that we may not. A mind that holds these anxieties is inhibited from reaching its full potential. A mind that lives in fear does not live in the present, rather it holds on to past memories and ideas that bring about the feeling of fear. When fear takes up space in our thoughts, we can never fully learn from or understand others. We can never see this world for what it is. Can you understand if you are constantly translating or seeking explanations through this lens of fear? Or is fear dulling your mind, preventing you from truly learning more?

To tackle the problem of fear, we must first be aware of where it comes from. Fear has been taught to us by our parents, our religions, our politicians, and our education system. Get the highest grades possible so you can get into the best school, so you can end up with a secure job, so you can be free and happy. Work hard now so you are not a failure later. Be good so you go to Heaven, Jannah, Shamayim, so you are free from reincarnation. Build a wall so you can protect your jobs, treat the planet well so it does not die. Everyone wants us to do something or behave a certain way, so how do they get us to conform? Fear. Maybe being successful, kind, and environmentally conscious is good for you and for society, but how deeply can you dive into these behaviors if you are limited by your fears? Do you understand what I am saying? We have been so conditioned by society to be fearful, that most of us can't imagine a life without it.

Many people talk about freedom, but a mind that lives in fear, like all of ours have been conditioned to, can never be free. You can travel, think what you want, and express yourself in different ways, but this outward expression of freedom can not equate to the liberation of your mind.

But isn't fear natural, is that not what motivates us? No and yes. We are taught fear so we only know how to motivate ourselves in fear, but fear is not natural and it is not the only way to unlock our potential. If we were to recognize our fears and to free ourselves of them, we would see that intelligence is the greatest motivator. We would know that fear dulls our knowledge but acting and thinking in intelligence can only add to our understanding. Perhaps you have denied yourself of your fears, you have told yourself something is wrong with you, and you will not seek deeper. Now a stillness in the mind overtakes you. This state is neither freedom nor imprisonment, it is emptiness. In this state, you and your fear are not two separate entities. Fear has become everything that you think and act within the realm of that fear.

Do you think you could recognize your fear? Not at what your fear is related to (because fear is always in relation to something, it’s never at just an object), but at fear itself. The very feeling. Would you be able to see that all your fears are the same fear, and that it is fear that you have become?

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