I recently discovered that a massive fear of mine is the unknown, not knowing what might happen, or what is beyond my knowledge and understanding.
When I was very depressed, this fear would make me want to run, to seek assurance from others, to be perfect so to avoid looking bad, anxiety attacks, asking millions of questions and thinking things through thoroughly etc.
The thoughts of ghosts used to scare me so badly that I could barely move from my bed when I was a child and school used to be the worst place ever for me because I would also have to anticipate being asked a question by the teacher: pure fear of the unknown, what will happen, what if. It equals in many cases extreme vulnerability, clingy personalities, anxiety and so extent with me it was escaping into my imagination to protect myself from being disappointed in the real world.
¡The truth is we continuously sit on the unknown!
As I walked out of the Big Scrubs park with Charlie, I thought, I actually have no idea what will happen in the next second. I don’t know if I’ll be run over, meet someone nice, see another dog, have a thought – I have NO IDEA, therefore the next second is unknown.
However, I have the intention of getting home to feed Charlie and start my day. So there is the intention but how do we always know we will get there? Forces in life are always changing, circumstances suddenly arise that often change our whole outlook on life – life is just madness sometimes. The process in which we reach the intention is also unknown. We may have the intention of walking, of crossing the road, unconsciously breathing to keep us alive, but how do we know what could occur in these precious moments before the intention is carried out? We don’t.
Same with my bank account – it looks BAD at the moment and normally I would have a heart attack because I ‘don’t know’ how to deal with it, what to do or how to top it up. However, as I’ve got stronger, this has become less domineering on my self and how I react. I know what I see but I’m choosing to be okay with it and have the intention of replenishing the account ASAP. Knowing How doesn’t help, knowing I have the intention sets the ball rolling.
I now feel far more relaxed in the face of the unknown, in fact it almost excites me to not HAVE to know what to do, where I’m going, what’s my future. I don’t know. The fear is still there, but knowing this helps hugely because I can acknowledge it and thank it and move on. It’s similar to Vipassana in the sense that when you have an unknown, odd feeling, you can accept it as JUST that and not make it into more. You can be with what it is and not get lost in the world of meaning. If we can’t understand something, see it, explain it, why do humans get so scared, seek security, shelter, or make 5 year plans? Why do we not simply accept it as it is or as it should be?
So look and see if there in an underlying fear, a main one – the one that seems to come up the most and is clearly driving many of your actions. If this scares you – don’t do it. If it intrigues you then I recommend looking and it’s quite a relief to see such a general subject dictating so many actions.
Thoughts are just thoughts – not even physical yet we cling to them like they are everything; our truth, our identity, our security…Amazing really.