It’s everywhere I turn—on the news, on my social-media feed, and in my daily conversations. It’s in the questions that keep me up at night, tossing and turning in an ocean of paranoid what-ifs. It’s in the words and labels we use when we’re sizing up ideas and people who might be a little different from us, who take us to that uncomfortable place just outside of our comfort zone. It’s also that nagging voice that continues to convince us that, as individuals and communities and nations, we are always going to be separate from one another. It’s that insidious belief that we are powerless to change any of this, so we may as well lock our doors, our minds, and our hearts.
I’m talking about fear.
We live in a fear-based culture. It’s in our daily lives. It’s in our political sphere. Hell, it may as well be in our drinking water. And we’re constantly making the choice to drink it.
Fear is a trickster, so it’s not always easy to recognize. It’s really good at camouflaging itself: as information, power, discernment, superiority, righteousness, or the voice of reason.
In order for us to truly recognize fear, to see it for what it is, we have to get incredibly honest with ourselves. And often, we need to be taken out of our usual environment to really grasp the hold that fear has over us.