THE WALKING DREAD

“Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.” ~ Helen Keller

When out for a walk this morning I passed a young woman, 15 or 16-years of age and her curiosity made her glance at me when she thought I wasn’t looking but as I returned her gaze she turned her face quickly in the opposite direction, ignoring me as if I wasn’t there. I thought, “Where does this behavior come from?” Ah, it must come from her parents. This total distrust of others was likely drilled into her as a child, “Never, never ever speak to strangers.”

I know there are lunatics out there but the fact is the majority, 98.9% (perhaps higher) of the people walking the planet are decent folk, not serial killers. Serials make up .79%, a .79% too much, agreed. I and many, many others are not going to kidnap, torture and murder you or your loved ones so why do the rest of us have to suffer indifference because the 1.1% of crazies causing  this frenzied trepidation?

What we fear, we draw near. It’s a universal law that whatever we direct our attention toward will flourish and grow. The well-known “law of attraction” can be applied to both the wanted, as well as the unwanted experiences in our lives.

All the fretting, dread and dismay churns into confusion and stress passes on to children which they then carry into adulthood. This moderated hysteria can do more to increase your odds of disaster than simply being mindful. Yes it’s important to protect your children and yes, it’s your responsibility to do all you can to help them be aware so they are able to protect themselves. Turning them into unsociable humans with a closed heart shouldn’t be your end result. Where do you draw the line? At your own personal comfort of paranoid protectiveness? Do you shadow them everywhere they go? Do you give them a cell phone at the age of 8? Do you tell them the dangers, the seriousness in graphic detail of what could happen to them should they not follow your rules? My reaction now is one of stress. Can you imagine how the 6, 7, 12-year old child internalize your fears?

I was raised in one of the world’s largest cities and yes, we had demonic personalities but in lesser numbers, or so it seemed. We, the regular, normal, everyday happy folks outnumbered them by far. Are more deranged and demented psychos out there now or are the numbers less per capita than in my youth? Is it simply a numbers game?

I don’t know the best answer except perhaps balance and careful, casual sharing of safety information. Still, I can’t help but feel we are making a world of citizens afraid of each other. We already spend most of our time looking at screens to communicate with one another. Is the future a place where we talk via text messages as our earplugs surround us in our own little worlds?

We can’t control much of anything, not really. By telling a child all they need to fear and what they need to do to protect themselves does nothing but cultivate angst. I can’t prevent a tsunami, halt a car accident or prevent  any catastrophic incident. All the smoke alarms in the world do not prevent fires. Life jackets do not prevent drowning.

At some point we need to let go and allow life to happen. Yes, be mindful of the dangers but not live in fear. It may be the stranger you were taught to ignore is the one person who could save your life.

If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment. ~ Marcus Aurelius

ON BEING VULNERABLE: Part 1

What are we all so afraid of? Isn’t it more hurtful in the long run to detach from each other? More painful than any suffering caused from togetherness? We all need each other. There is no separation. Our separateness lives only in our lost minds like a misty morning.

Yes there is the likelihood, a good chance in fact for us to be hurt by being open with another regardless of circumstance or situation. Mother and son, friend to friend, lover to lover, dog to cat. Well perhaps not dog to cat although they have been known to co-exist quite famously contrary to popular legend.

When we are vulnerable, we are at our best. This alone makes any strife worth the effort.

The only time I, or many of my contemporaries have ever learned anything worth remembering is when we have opened up and become vulnerable. Whether it is via study, love or simply to raise ones voice to state an opinion, one which may certainly incite ridicule. The true brave among us still act and speak.

Vulnerability does not make us alone. Only in birth and death, in those transitive times are we ever truly alone. Between birth and death we are never alone although we may suffer feelings of loneliness. The slightest chance of isolation may frighten us into staying shut. But when we are vulnerable we allow room for people to see us as we truly are, Divine. In doing so we open ourselves and others to freedom, the freedom to state how we feel. A view of things through our eyes, a unique perspective as filtered through our heart, mind and soul.

Opening our heart without constraints makes one connect with the angels whose own vibrations resonate easily with the sound sung only by a pure heart. The sound emanating from a closed heart, one that lives in fear of being hurt is dull and deafening especially to those who hear  that sound beat minute after minute in their leaden chest.

As I child I often dreamt of a world where all we had to do was softly touch another’s palm and be inside their mind, their hearts and soul. It was wondrous. If my world existed we would become invincible in our efforts to find something great inside ourselves. To hold all that is Divine in us in the present moment. We  would search every day, seeking something more beautiful in ourselves to share with others.

 That dream hasn’t died, nor will it when it has the potential of being so very real. It is who we are. It is all we are.