It has been said that the eyes are the way to see the soul and I know how we can avoid eye contact just because we are nervous, anxious, or unsure. Creating an atmosphere that is stagnant, with an indescribable stench, accompanied by a feeling of emptiness. That’s what living afraid has done to us. And we have become so blind to it, that we hardly notice it anymore.
In fact, most of us would not even realize that we had gotten to this point.
I know what living afraid looks like. So much that I could be the “club president.” Some of you might as well be “lifers” too. Living behind walls built with years of pain and anguish that no amount of love and forgiveness will even bring down one stone. Filled with negativity and hatred that even now seems to have no real reason for even existing, but you can’t bring yourself to set aside either. Dreams have found no purpose in a life that means nothing more than a few short days on this plant and we have succumbed to an environment that we created out of necessity.
Our lives have never been in more jeopardy of being taken for granted than they are right now. We continue to hide, to pretend, and to look the other way, just to avoid any sense of personal responsibility and obligation to the generations who will follow, unfortunately, in our footsteps.
We can sit there and ignore the very problem we have before us or we can fix it. But in order for us to fix a problem, we must first admit that one exists.
Let’s take a step back a bit and now just chat about Oprah and how she convinced us all to hide behind her. Do not get me wrong, I love Oprah and what she has done for women both here in this country and in others. But face it, Oprah did all the talking. She was the one who sat on that stage and expressed her feelings and shared her experiences…we got the best seat in town — either in her audience or on our own couch. But we really didn’t have to do anything. We just clapped when told to and cheered silently from the comforts of home. Mostly nothing changed. When she went off the air, we went back to our old lives of hiding behind the curtain of shame and pretended not to have paid any attention to Oprah, her guests, or the message she was bringing every day. Some of us even ignored the impact she left with us as we continue to struggle with the life we live and the life we want to live, even to this day. Oprah took all the risk and you weren’t required to do anything.
And that’s the way you like it, isn’t it?
Convincing ourselves that safe is not the same as afraid.
But you are just lying to yourself. You know it and I know it.
Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but that’s exactly what you are doing…living afraid.
Afraid of breaking rank or going against the status quo. Afraid of judgment, failure, and ridicule. Afraid of being everything you were born to be and more. Afraid to say what’s really on your mind. Afraid to give yourself permission to want something different, something more, or something fulfilling. Afraid to listen to your heart and allow the dreams to have a life of their own. Afraid to fall in love, for fear of being hurt and rejected. Afraid to give more, noticing that others will not follow suit. Afraid to be at peace with has troubled you for years. Afraid to live any other way. Afraid to speak the truth to the generations who will repeat everything I’ve shared above and more. Afraid to be unique, rare and inquisitive. Afraid to show your true self. Afraid to walk away from those that no longer serve any meaning. Afraid to question the methods and practices in place, knowing that a better alternative must exist somewhere. Afraid to start something new, full of possibility and imagination. Afraid to create the impossible and to fight through the moments of doubt and fear. Afraid to admit that a moment carries meaning and is real in the impact it leaves behind found in every memory. Afraid to admit that you are at this point. Afraid to commit to something long-term and see it through to the end. Afraid to live.
No need for me to tell you what living afraid has really done to you…you already know.
But the big question is something more…
“What are you going to do now?”
Michelle A. Homme 2015 ©