My brother’s lonely walk

When I was younger, I had various phobias, more ordinary ones like heights and spiders, which am sure many of us go through. As an adult, these can be rationalised and lessened into mild dislikes. Sometimes. My brother in the presence of a flying, buzzing insect is truly a sight to behold. I recall him once walking for about three miles without money, keys or phone as he could not return into the house because a lone bee had taken temporary residence. And another time where we had to sellotape a glass to a mop to extract a bee from our front room, and our mum asking when she got home why one of her glasses was in the shrubbery. Fear can be infectious.

So what can assist us to overcome fear? Could it be an increased sense of trust in our environments? Now some fears are logical, practical, designed to keep us alive (we don’t go looking for hippos to enjoy a casual stroll with them), but other fears seem to immobilise us to the state of inaction.

Anxiety is something that I have experienced, especially as a teenager. I would have full blown panic attacks, hyperventilating until I became dizzy. It was fear manifested. I had no trust in the stability of my world. And often as a child, we are at the mercy of the adults who make decisions for us, rarely are we the decision makers.

For much of my life, I have been scared to make big decisions, needing the validation of those around me. And this is fear. Not having the confidence that my own thoughts were good enough, worthy enough. As a result of this, bits of progress were made, but never enough, never really breaking through with anything, despite any passions or aspirations that I had. I simply didn’t believe that I could.

In my life now, that has changed. I know what I want to do, and despite the occasional hiccup, I do what I intend. Self-validation is empowering. I sometimes wonder what it would be like to be a person who has always had confidence in their beliefs, and even with doubt, they still can bear the risk and proceed. What would be the mindset of a person like that?

Map Point. What have I always wanted to do?


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