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Wednesday, November 21 , 2018, 10:25 am | Mostly Cloudy 65º


Susan Ann Darley: Revealing Our Fifty Shades of Fear

We live in unscripted times, but we can write our own if we let go of our insecurities

On Saturday, while standing in line at the Santa Barbara Airport waiting to go through the full-body scanner, the woman in front of me turns around. She looks anxious and starts talking fast, “Last time I went through one of these they found something in my head. It was horrible. Their hands were in my hair, scratching my scalp. I kept asking, ‘What is it?’”

Of course they didn’t know, and she was eventually released to walk away a wreck, wondering what foreign object might be encroaching on her brain. She eventually let it go; possibly blaming it on the technology, but her fear is back as she faces the scanner once more.

Fears come in many shapes and sizes. Fear of pain, heights, strangers, terrorists, flying, dying, success, failure, the unknown — and the list can go on and on. Psychologists classify fear into the three main categories of paranoia, distrust and terror.

Regardless of antiseptic definitions, it’s a given that we live in a fear-filled world. And if I may be so brave as to say, that fear is the root cause of every insecurity we’ve ever invented.

Invented? Yes, invented. We are creative beings who use our imaginations in full force when it comes to fearful thinking. The bottom line is that fearful thoughts and beliefs can cause disease, destruction, killing, self-loathing, low self-esteem and a host of other negative feelings that destroy our self-worth.

Fear is the father of all lies that tells you that you are “less than” or “more than.” It paralyzes and blocks the truth of who we are.

Our Founding Fathers understood that truth as stated in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, which reads: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

“All men are created equal.” We are one and the same. It’s our judgment that measures our worth through the outer trappings of the external world.

Each and every message you’ve ever been given that undermines your worth stems from the insecurities and fears of others and erodes your personal freedom.

You came into this world with “unalienable Rights.” Unalienable (inalienable) is defined as absolute and unchallengeable. “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” should be your personal declaration in every moment.

The United States has always prided itself on being a strong leadership nation — a beacon of light for others to follow. A country with a definitive and singular role to play in the world, which reflects the inherent right of every single person regardless of color, race, origin or circumstances to have the freedom to pursue their dreams.

However, our role of leader is currently thwarted and overshadowed by fear. Our confidence as a strong nation has weakened. We are in the midst of an internal conflict. We are a nation at war between old and new thought — between adolescent and adult behavior.

Unless you’re wearing rose-colored glasses, the adolescent is raging in full force right now. He is the bully personified, ruled by fear and out of control. He’s arrogant, one-way and puffs up his ego by beating up others.

His victims play out the catch-22, caught in their own web of fear.

Growing up is hard. Letting go of our cherished belief that the world should revolve around us and bow at our feet is painful. The dilemma now, however, is that holding on to old ideas is even more painful. What are we afraid of?

The biggest stumbling block to adulthood is our fear of the human condition. We need to embrace the human condition in its entirety, our frailties, faults, dysfunctions, hesitations and doubts. Our 50 shades of fear. Not hide them and pretend they don’t exist, but no more blame. No more shame.

An adult displays compassionate understanding for a child who is afraid and leads him or her out of the dark. It’s time for us to do that for one another.

We live in unscripted times. As adults we can write our own. What will it be? Another destructive war story that feeds on fear and tears people apart? Or revisiting the founding principles of this nation in order to restore unity, tolerance and peace? It’s our choice, but we need to choose now.

Susan Ann Darley is a creativity coach and business writer who works with entrepreneurs and artists from all disciplines to build, manage and market their careers. For more information, click here or contact her at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 805.845.3036.

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