Fear and Love

Before you read this post, I want you to do nothing but focus on how you feel for two minutes. I’m completely serious; follow the link, and honestly, seriously do nothing for two minutes. Come back when you’re done.

How did you feel during that two minutes? Nervous? Antsy? Bored? Maybe you failed it a couple times, got an IM you wanted to respond to or something. Did you check your cell phone, turn on the TV? Did you really do nothing but focus on yourself for two minutes? If you didn’t, try again. I’m just asking for two minutes.

Did you realize anything you wouldn’t have thought of without those two minutes? I realized I get so tied down in doing things all day, running back-to-back from one goal to the next, that I don’t even know how I feel about things most of the time.

Let me tell you what I feel: fear. I feel scared all the time. I log on to my Facebook and see the “Being Liberal” page make some of the most vile hate speech. I check the “Being Conservative” page and see the same thing. I hear about the growing crisis in the Eurozone and the shockwave that could ripple through the rest of the world. I hear about American fighter drones killing militants in PakistanI hear about Brandon Wright, a kid a year younger than myself, being shot and killed in his own car. In my hometown. Where I live.  And it wasn’t until today, for some reason, I’m not sure of, that I realized just how scared I am all the time.

I’ve spent all day being tense. I don’t enjoy my video games because I stress about how my writing should be done first. I don’t enjoy my writing because I feel uninspired. I don’t enjoy my work because it’s almost the height of materialism season and it unnerves me. I have headaches constantly, and I’m only half-aware of it most of the time.

I don’t think I’m the only one who feels like this, either. There’s dissatisfaction all over the country, everyone yells at each other and wants to take what others have. We push people into small, figurative boxes that we label “1%” and “extremist” and “lazy” and use those labels to justify why we yell so much. But really, I think we’re all just scared.

We’re scared we won’t find good jobs. We’re scared we won’t find people to love us. We’re scared we’ll spend the rest of our lives drowning in debt. We’re scared we’ll reach middle age and feel like we wasted our lives. We’re scared we won’t have the chance to raise families. We’re scared we’ll have to struggle our entire lives to raise our families, still never providing them with what we know they deserve. We’re scared that one person will go over the edge, one person will knock the world situation we know off of its razor-edge and send everything plummeting into more chaos and more murder.

Maybe those are just my fears. But I don’t think so.

I wish I knew how to fix this. Right now, the only way I can feel any better is to try and love. I’m not saying that any of the situations I’ve just listed can be cured by it. Loving makes me feel like I’m on the right track.

So I’ll love living with my family, talking with my friends, seeing my co-workers. I’ll love tooling around with trading cards. I’ll love gaming. I’ll love creating stories. I’ll love grabbing a drink at the bar. I’ll love helping people with their computers. I’ll love anything I can. I’ll love because it gives me hope.

The Beatles lied; love is not all you need. But certainly action without love is hopeless.


P.S. A friend of mine, someone I look up to far more than she knows, posted this on her Facebook the other day:

“This is your life. Do what you love, and do it often. If you don’t like something, change it. If you don’t like your job, quit. If you don’t have enough time, stop watching TV. If you are looking for the love of your life, stop; they will be waiting for you when you start doing things you love. Stop over analyzing, life is simple. All emotions are beautiful. When you eat, appreciate every last bite. Open your mind, arms, and heart to new things and new people; we are united in our differences. Ask the next person you see what their passion is, and share your inspiring dream with them. Travel often; getting lost will help you find yourself. Some opportunities only come once; seize them. Life is about the people you meet and the things you create with them, so go out and start creating. Life is short. Live your dream and share your passion.”


7 thoughts on “Fear and Love

    • Thanks much for the read, Mr. Nasty. And it’s much too true that the things you love drive you a bit crazy…but perhaps that’s why we love them. Perhaps all true feeling stems from a little bit of craziness. It sure feels that way sometimes…

  1. It took me four tries to complete the two minute exercise. Even then, when the page congratulated me for a job well done, I smirked because I fooled the computer. I had gotten up to put a sweater away and sat back down, my computer knowing none-the-better. At one minute and 35 seconds, I was in it just to discover if a loud horn would go off at the end. I realized then that I had no control over my thoughts. That is scary, and disappointing. As my disappointment sunk to my core, I committed to trying it again. This time, for real. I took my best yogo pose, which wasn’t very impressive, I’m sure, and concentrated on relaxation. What did I discover? My fingers and toes are freezing. Maybe I have poor circulation…I need to Google that a bit. That thought struck at marker 00:32. What else did I discover? I need to utilize this tool every day until I master my mind. If I can’t control it, who does?

    • Two minutes is a long time in our digital age, Amanda. Consider how we used to think about internet connection speeds, for one… if it takes 10 seconds for Facebook to load I’m about ready to throw my computer out the window! Perhaps a bit of mental discipline would do us both good? 🙂

      Thanks for the read!

  2. Now this is really what I like to read from you Josh – the posts where you discuss the anxiety involved in figuring out where our lives are going now that school is pretty much over with for all of us. It’s focused on the abstract nature of fear and stress in our lives, and it’s important that we recognize these issues and resolve them… stress is a very real danger to our health and I’ve felt it over the past year. Unfulfilled by my work, lonely, miss the ‘good ol’ times’, etc. But if someone as smart and honest as you is feeling all the same things, I can’t be alone in my struggle. Realizing you’re not alone can be half the battle sometimes.

    • Too true, Forsuk…I think it’s a rough time for a lot of us out there, recent graduate or graduated for years, unemployed, underemployed, or just plain overworked. The stress is very real, and the discontent growing in the public is real as well. The anger and the fear stem from plain disappointment in life…I certainly hope we make a way out of it soon. I do still believe that there are opportunities out there for happiness and satisfaction with work and life, but I think we’re just going to have to be willing to try very, very hard to find them.

      Thanks for the read.

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