Why we refuse to surrender fear

If fear was meant to warn us of danger, anxiety is fear gone mad.
A few months ago I wrote that fear is a human reaction to being isolated from others and having lost faith. But as much as we can rationalise why we’re fearful, we cannot stop it.
An overactive amygdala and constantly triggered fight or flight response might explain the trauma response, but why might we emotionally refuse to let go of fear?

“We can easily forgive a child who is
afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life
is when men are afraid of the light.”
– Plato

When I find myself repeating thoughts of self-doubt or self-hatred, a part of me wonders whether I enjoy thinking of myself as broken.
Whether I feel safe in judging myself too harshly because it’s all I’ve ever known.
Maybe the reason I have not yet opened the door to unconditional love for myself is not that I’m lacking awareness, willpower or knowledge: maybe I just don’t want to open it.
It takes bravery to give in to light, it’s much easier to wallow in the dark.

“Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.”
– Søren Kierkegaard

In Russel Brand’s latest podcast with Sadhguru, the latter was talking about just how easy life is nowadays with technology and healthcare, and how suffering is thus greater.
We now have the time, the freedom and the privilege to be fearful.
If our aim was to survive, humanity would use its intellect to avoid cars and drugs, distribute food and medicine to all, and call it a day.
But we don’t just want to live, we want to live to the fullest. Know the meaning of life and fulfill it.
Maybe the worrying means we’re doing it right.

“It is not power that corrupts but fear. ”
– Aung San Suu Kyi

As long as we don’t give in to fear and lose ourselves in it, can we allow ourselves some?
Can fear be the salt of life that teaches us what we hold dear?
Shall we let fear guide us towards where we can expand as humans?
The danger lies in making fear the protagonist, the reason why we wrong people;
use it as fuel we burn along the way, and maybe we might just get to self-love.

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