Each person bears a fear which is special to him...
Thus fear is only a preference.
This quote, posted on Facebook by the incredible Avery Caswell, stopped me in my tracks last week. Whoa. You mean, this fear, and that one, and this other one, specific to me, are each a preference? Wait! Why would I prefer to have any fear at all? Fear as a choice...I guess I knew this, ultimately, but hadn't really owned it before.
Now I want to own it.
Fearlessness as a choice. If you could choose (and, it seems, you CAN choose) to remove one fear from your life, what would it be? Fear of venomous snakes? Fear of being hit by a car? Fear of abandonment? Fear of undercooked chicken? I can't choose just one. I want to be fearless. Not just on the outside, where I am very good at covering my quivering terror with a big smile and a pirate hat, but on the inside, where fears keep me awake at night and sully my thoughts during the day.
Caswell recently wrote a blog post about the very thing which haunts my nocturnal thoughts most - regret. (Read it here.)
"Practicing kindness... is transformative, and at the end of a life of practicing kindness we might be glowing beacons of pure love with barely any room for regrets," she writes after listening to a talk by author George Saunders. Hmmmm, kindness as a cure for regret (and thus a cure for my fear) is incredibly appealing.
Of course, this launched me into the studio to create a caped crusader of fearlessness (my owner inner super heroine) which sent me on an internet treasure hunt for songs about capes, which landed me this gem by Guy Clark: