On Hope & Fear

We have a major misconception about fear. We believe we are afraid of something as an outcome but actually this is not true. We are afraid of the possibility of an unwanted outcome and the cause of fear that we experience is about the uncertainty of the possible outcome, never the outcome itself. Once for any reason becomes certain that the outcome has occurred or will occur beyond any doubt, the uncertainty evaporates and with it our fear about it. We may then experience denial, frustration, sadness but not fear. Fear was extinguished together with the uncertainty.

That is significant because it demystifies the power of fear in our lives. Fear is a part of our life that under the right perspective, serves us. It forces us to pause before action and hedge any possible danger. It is a survival mechanism that can be our ally and not an enemy. It is important to feel fear but then we can still make a decision that may override it and proceed to action. Fear is not something by itself that can stop us from action. It is absolutely fine to feel fear. It is not fine though to be afraid of fear. It is a warning mechanism and nothing more. Its presence serve as a consultation to us before action. We are free to assess this consultation on its merits and make any decision. The feeling of fear may still be present but has no power to stop us from acting. If however start feeling uncertain of the outcome that fear sensitized us about, we start attaching and projecting undue powers to that uncertainty.

On the other end of the spectrum we have hope which is supposedly a good thing. Well,  in some instances can be a good survival mechanism designed to make us persevere. In most instances though, is not so. Hope actually functions as masked fear. We hope that the unwanted outcome we are afraid of does not materialize because in fact we are afraid that it may do so. When we think we hope for something we actually fear that may not happen. Hope is an emotion with no momentum power. Belief and faith and trust have all of them that momentum. They all resemble hope but are not. In belief or faith or trust there is no doubt and that mobilizes and focuses all our energy towards the object or outcome of that attention. Hope doubts the outcome just as fear does.

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