Fear. Why do we have such a toxic relationship with it?

We use it to justify misbehaviour. “I cheated because I was afraid you didn’t love me.”, “I’m scared you’ll hurt me so I’ll hurt you first.”

We wield it in Oppression Olympics, in boardroom dramas & in love stories alike. We operate as if our identities are built out of pieces of fear, rather than love & inspiration.

But we also deny it & curiously enough stoke it, breed it, feed it with shame, with peer pressure, with propagating cycles of abuse.

Insecurity. Unbelonging. Shame. Even trauma. They’re all rooted in fear. Yet, fear is natural. An alarm bell before the strange, the unfamiliar, the potentially dangerous & the always new.

But we also enjoy the new, the novel. We’re entertained & charmed & wooed by it. Is that how we see fear too?

Maybe we secretly like being afraid because ironically, it makes us feel safe. Maybe a life without fear feels undramatic & not lively enough. Maybe fear teaches us where our boundaries should be & also what we value.

When it touches us so intimately, maybe we can’t help but be a mess about it. Like all else, it’s only toxic when it’s imbalanced.

But is it possible to moderate our fear? Not where we feel it & how much we feel it. But what role we let it take in our lives & our identities.

How about not clinging to fear as if it were a vital part of our anatomy? Start by saying “I’m afraid of…” and see where that takes you.

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