You might run out of money. You might get sick. Politicians may kill this planet. The elephants and polar bears may disappear. Your family could get hurt, addicted, or hate you. There could soon be no clean water or edible food. You could be the victim of identity theft, have a car accident, never be able to retire, die alone.
A lot of people are scared.
Fear, worry or anxiety may feel new, or maybe it’s been there all your life.
Either way, for many, there’s more of it.
Yes, just for something fun to look forward to, The Mind-Tickler is here to let you know that as we age, our fears often increase.
Which makes sense if you think about it. I mean, with every day we’re that much closer to being dead, for gosh sake.
What, you were hoping to get pots of gold, love, peace, enlightenment and happily ever after?
Let’s face it, this being human thing is scary.
And as we get older, it gets harder to keep believing that we can make ourselves safe, as more evidence to the contrary accumulates.
That increases helplessness and brings more-frequent feelings of impending danger.
Which is why we keep trying to find preventative measures while despairing of success.
This does keep us busy. Yay for that.
Feels pretty awful though.
So maybe there’s another way. Maybe rather than “How do I protect myself and my future?” the question might instead be,
“Life is vulnerable, and so what?”
The question might become, “Is immunity from every possible life contingency even necessary?”
Because maybe it’s not.
After all, from the beginnings of life on this planet, existence has been tenuous and unpredictable, no one has ever been promised invulnerability, and yet, here we all are, for the most part,
Could it be that whether we know this, or whether we like what happens, or whether we feel safe…
just doesn’t matter?
Of course if that's so, we probably haven’t noticed. Because thought needs to figure things out. “How do bad things happen, how can I solve it when they do, and how can I avoid all bad things in the future?”
Y’know, so that it has something to do.
Because what is thought without something to think about?
Nothing, nada, zipola.
So for thousands of years, collective mind has happily focused on problems, danger, fear and solutions, and busily scared humanity silly anticipating various disasters.
And meanwhile, even so, life has gone on.
I mean, look at us. Breathing, reading, feeling, thinking, skin holding everything in where it belongs.
Most often, that’s about it. If we’re paying attention to this moment.
Which is different from focusing on the future, of course. That is never safe.
First, because what is the future anyway?
And second, because how would it be possible to protect against every potential contingency, every possible fall, sickness, snub, surprise?
Clearly that way lies lack of sleep and institutionalization.
So yes, over millennia people have died and had accidents and lost children and experienced pain- all the infinitely varied mixture of existence.
And yes we’ve been scared, especially when brushing aside present refuge to figure out how to safeguard the future.
Because It-Could-Happen-Laters are the basis for the vast majority of fears.
Which is kind of funny, no? “Let’s ignore what we’ve got right now and figure out how to get it later.”
Luckily fear really can’t survive true attention to the present moment.
Turns out, “So what?” is pretty sweet.
Nothing scary there.
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