Why do we fear the unknown?
This subject may seem obvious but there are some interesting aspects about this that I find fascinating.
To start with what is FEAR?
Fear is an emotion; and emotions bury FEELINGS. Fear like anger comes up after experiencing a FEELING; in most cases it takes a split second after feeling the feeling; then comes the FEAR to bury it. Feelings like helplessness, powerless; no one wants to feel feelings of a negative nature. Fear can be a good thing also; it can save your life; fright and flight in the case of a big bear confronting you in the woods.
We fear the unknown because we do not have any choices with an unknown. With a known we have choices; you can act on the information or choose to do nothing; but an unknown places you in a place of helplessness or powerlessness. The mind puts up pictures and your imagination goes wild not knowing what it is; (which makes you FEEL helpless!!!)
It is a perfectly normal human reaction to fear the unknown; what is ahead of me in the dark in a wild life reserve?? The pain I have in my stomach that the doctors cannot tell me what is causing it!! Is it cancer? Why can’t they tell me what it is? The imaginations kick in and thinks the worst.
Now an interesting thing about all this is that whatever the answer is to your questions; good or bad you are relieved to find out what it is; even if it is cancer; you are still relieved; “now you can try to do something about it” your power is restored again to some extent. In these circumstances most people still hand their power over to doctors to deal with it but at least they are relieved to know what it is; hence takes away the feeling of helplessness.
All this helplessness is subconscious of course; they just feel the fear; but now they have something else to contend with; they now feel they have some control over their destiny.
Take control over the UNKNOWN.
The future is an unknown; a lot of people consciously fear the future for many different reasons; some are born in war-torn countries; or under developed countries with unstable governments; or fear their financial future.
There are others that have isolated themselves in safe places and control every part of their lives to the last detail; these people do not fear the future “consciously” but “unconsciously” they do; because of the amount of effort they have put into trying to make their world safe and control everything around them. People who have a lot of money are afraid of losing it and the ones that do not have money fear because they may not be able to sustain their existence.
Embracing the UNKNOWN forces you to live in the NOW!!
Living in the moment means NOW!!! If you are in your head thinking you are not living in the NOW. If you are in your mind referencing anything; you can only be either in the past or the future, NOT the present. I use the word referencing because it is a conscious effort; as opposed to thought drifting in and out of the mind that is spontaneous; you can be in the NOW and have spontaneous thought popping in and out like we do when we are writing and being creative. We must be in our feelings to experience the NOW; and feeling is the gap between thoughts.
So planning every detail of any venture we take on (“other that constructing a building or material construction of any description”) is taking away any spontaneous action that allows you to be in present time. Planning too much sets up an expectation which sets you up for disappointment and does not allow you to experience the present moment; because you are too busy in your head trying to organize everything and you miss the present; the journey!!!
Life is a Journey; not arriving anywhere.
I have always been a person who is very curious and inquisitive and loves adventure; as I have got older my adventurous days have increased. It wasn’t until I became aware of dealing with the unknown that I made a conscious decision to challenge myself and make the unknown exciting and welcomed what was around the corner with excitement and enthusiasm. This way I live in the moment without any expectations of what might be round the corner; and do not set myself up for disappointments where possible.
EXAMPLE: It is funny; most people plan a holiday or their entire life and do so with great detail to see and do things that they have always wanted to do. In most cases these holidays NEVER pan out exactly the way they were supposed to; if you do all the things you had planned; there is no room for being spontaneous; in the NOW.
I love living in Asia (Thailand); and here you have to live in the NOW to stay alive; especially when driving which I do a lot of; then the challenge of crossing a road without getting run over!!! This keeps me in present time; no time to slacken off; it comes naturally!!
Ever taken off for a drive and had no plans for the day except to have a good time and nice drive? Start driving and then decide which direction you want to go. Stop by a wayside cafe and have a coffee and cake and then start driving with no particular destination and find a lovely place you had not been before; just allowed the day to unfold without any plans. This is living in the now; allow things to unfold without planning everything and I guarantee you will have a better time without expectations than you ever will if you put expectations on the day.
So use UNKNOWN’S as an excuse for an adventure and challenge yourself to get excited about what is around the corner; and just allow everything to flow without expectations and your life will be filled with extreme adventures and exciting times.
I try not to plan any more than 6 months ahead; and when i do i only put in a skeleton plan; leave out the middle bits for the unknown; if i am traveling i book accommodation when i get here, or just book for one night and sort the rest out when i am there; i just allow things to flow; trust my intuition will lead you in the right direction.
Living on the edge is not for the faint heart-ed but it is worth it; it certainly makes me feel alive and rely on my intuition a lot which helps me to make the right choices.
I am past 71 now; my life is getting easier as it goes on; so i figure i must be doing something right. I feel a lot of gratitude in my life now; for past experiences and my present situation. I try not to make anything bad; just accept everything as it is and make any event a lesson to grow and be grateful for what I have and create Joy in my life.
I hope you enjoy your venture into the great unknown with excitement and not trepidation.
please any comments are most welcome; and I hope you enjoyed my writing as much as I have writing it. Hope you are all experiencing some Joy and happiness in your lives; LOL Murray