"Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering." - Master Yoda, Star Wars
What does it mean to be a Jedi? Jedi were depicted as wise beyond their years, patient, and understanding, yet they did not lay down and die when someone threatened them, or the people who they had sworn to protect. Jedi did not simply jump to "aggressive negotiations," but were pushed to defend the innocent, and their ideals. They contemplated their every word and move, knowing the effect their actions had on the world around them. The Jedi had a natural gift to manipulate "The Force," but I honestly believe that aside from that, I strive to be like the Jedi Everyday.
Conquering my internal fears of not being accepted, my fears of being socially awkward, and my fears of being unable to feel emotions was one of the biggest steps in finding peace within myself. Everyone has fear, but like most people, I was unable to even accept that I was afraid. Having a fear that you cannot accept is like trying to run with your feet tied together by an invisible rope. If you knew your feet were tied, you would likely untie them first before you ran, but if the rope is invisible the only hope you have to get to your destination is to hop. Hopping may get you there, but you will get to your destination much slower and chances are you will be exhausted as well.
The first step to conquering my fear was to accept that I had fear, and discover what I was afraid of and why. My all time biggest fear is being alone: truly rejected and forgotten by all of my friends and family. Other notable fears are the fear of hurting someone else, the fear of becoming an "evil" person, and the fear of forgetting who I am.
To discover my own fears I simply needed to look at my own suffering. I was hurting so much for most of my life and I didn't even realize it until I was 25. I was unable to trust the people around me about normal everyday things. I did not believe the stories my family told me. I did not believe things my friends told me. Everything seemed as though it was made up. This escalated until I no longer felt that I could trust anyone about anything. If someone said they enjoyed my company it obviously was because they didn't want to hurt my feelings. If someone laughed at my joke too much it was because they wanted me to feel wanted. If someone got along with me it must be because they don't know who I really was. I even had issues making eye contact because I didn't want people to see who i really was inside.
I was in so much emotional pain from the constant fear that I started to find problems that didn't exist and project MY emotions onto other people's actions. When my wife didn't cook dinner it was Obvious that she was angry. When my friends didn't answer my calls it HAD TO BE that they were all having a party without me. When my Family didn't call me it was DEFINITELY that they were ashamed of me. I was living in a fantasy world where nothing could possibly just be. it had to be about ME. Imagine how Angry I became over this. How angry would you be if you believed these things?
I became so angry at life that I started to check out. Then it was brought to my attention by the wonderful people at Pathways Seminars that I had fears and angers that I wouldn't accept. I was still angry at my parents for divorcing when I was 8! I had never dealt with my angers from a child, and they had brewed and festered into something so vile and disgusting that it consumed me. I felt a constant fear of rejection and loss as well as constant anger at both of my parents for tearing my world apart. Moving past that anger and fear meant talking about it: something I never had planned to do. I told both of my parents why I felt the way that I did, I expressed how sorry I was that I waited so long to talk to them about it and I truly Forgave them for all of the emotional pain that I had endured as a child. Forgiving them was the easy part.... Telling them.... that was not so easy.
Forgiveness was a key component to moving past my fears, which almost all stem from a fear of loss of Family and friends. I had to forgive people who hurt me. I didn't call every single one, but I had to let go of that anger and power that they had over me. I had to let go and begin to look at life a little differently. Life doesn't always give us the answer, sometimes you have to seek it, and sometimes you have to accept that it's Truly OK to not know the answer right away. Be patient, and vigilant at the same time. One of the main keys to my serenity is knowing that deep down, I TRULY want the best for all of my fellow man, even if they have wronged me or anyone else for that matter.
Luke wouldn't give up on Darth Vader because he felt good in him. Yoda and Obi Wan dismissed it as naivety, but Luke was right. I won't ever give up on anyone in my life no matter how insignificant their impact on me or my family.
I feel like I should also inform the reader of one small detail about this blog: I do not proofread my posts several hundred times. I type as I think, and when I revise my posts over and over and over it corrupts the integrity of the original thought, which is filled with emotion. I send this to you in the purest form possible.... minus spelling errors because those bug me so much!