Your heart beats faster, you sweat, your legs turn to jelly, your mind turns to mush.
We’re all familiar with the immediate effects of fear.
But what about long-term?
People tend to avoid situations, things, people etc. that make them fearful. Gradually, these avoidances become habbits, part of our pattern of living, part of who we are. Over time, we become skilled in these life-patterns, making them work for us, seeing their other benefits, rationalising our actions. Eventually, we loose sight of the thing we once feared, leaving the empty shell of routine and preference. If ever we are tempted to break out of our routines, we feel feel anxiety – not just the ghost of the original fear, but the fear of change, the fear of loosing ourselves. So, although we feel fear no longer, we become bound to a lifestyle that is ultimately fear-based.
The problem is, we are no longer free to choose. Indeed, we may not even be aware that there is a choice. We are imprisoned in a golden cage, a cage of our own making, a cage that we cannot even see. And because we are imprisoned in this cage, we become frustrated. Our behaviour does not always bear good fruit, but still we cannot see why. We cannot see an alternative. We become depressed. Our lives become impotent. We deny ourselves the joys of living that could otherwise be ours if only we were free, to change, to grasp hold of life and live it to the full.