It’s officially All Hallows’ Eve. The night before All Saints’ Day, better known as Hallowe’en. This has got me thinking about fear. I love spooky things. I love the adrenaline rush of a Haunted House. I love thrillers and creepy movies. I love books that can make a shiver creepy up my spine. These are pretend fears. They’re fun, exciting, and hold no real danger. So, it’s not fear. Fear is:
“an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.”
We love faux danger. We pretend that we’re in danger to get that superficial rush of adrenaline. But what is it that humanity is really afraid of? Of course, the first thing is always Death. We are afraid to parish, to expire, to end. But after Death, what is it that makes us so vulnerable that we react badly, stupidly, panic and do regretful things? It’s pain. It’s not the kind of pain we suffer from injury. No, physical pain is something that’s dealt with on a constant basis, and while we actively avoid it, it doesn’t cause us to commit regretful acts or cause panic.
It’s emotional pain that is the greatest fear of humanity. People don’t want to be hurt. The heart, no matter how hard we believe it to be, is a fragile metaphor for our even more fragile psyches. We act stupidly, rashly, and frantically when we believe our emotions are compromised, when we are in danger of experiencing that terrible torn-up feeling inside. That emotional pain that causes your lungs to tighten in your chest and your pulse to race. We avoid human connection when there is danger of getting hurt.
This is what humanity fears most. Not everyone will agree, that’s fine. But consider how many people are so afraid to make a connection. Consider the amount of anxiety when a new relationship (in any capacity) is forming. We free that if we put ourselves on the line, out there and vulnerable, with a new person that we will be crushed.
I am guilty of this very thing and a lot more recently than I’d like to admit.
Fear is only restrictive. It may be an evolutionary tool that has kept the species alive because the one that feared the big scary beast with fangs hid and survived. In a modern society it only cripples us, stops us from connecting with other people.
It’s a very ponderous Hallowe’en. Cheers Friends.