Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration
I will face my fear
I will permit it to pass over me and through me
And when it is gone past I will turn to the inner eye to see its path
When the fear is gone, there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.
-Bene Geserit Litany Against Fear "Dune"
Fear. It sure is a motivator of the human mind.
It's natural, we fear the unknown, we fear rejection, we fear being wrong, we fear everything around us. Or, at least there is someone out there that fears it. It motivates us to take steps to avoid what we fear. If we fear the unknown, we attempt to put order and "knownness" to our lives and never strive outside of that bubble. If we fear rejection, we avoid allowing situations to develop where we could be rejected, thus sheltering ourselves once again. If we fear being wrong, we shelter ourselves by avoidance, anger, and outright rejection of ideas that are contrary to statements we have made. We project an image of infailability, that we can't fail and are never wrong.
I've been accused of it before. I admit, there are times when i reject the notion that I could be wrong. I attempt to discipline myself against it, allow myself to see other sides, bridge the gap and thus expand my mind. It's the role of a scientist to search for wrong in all statements, even their own.
In all actuality, I think my fear is closer to the second, however. I do fear rejection, in some senses of the term. While in general I tend not to care about the rejection of strangers and people I randomly meet (take the barfight i got into the other week), I do fear it from someone I've grown close to. Oftentimes this limits how I choose to interact with those closest to me, I tend to pull away, make them angry at me, and find other ways to create divides between us.
I fool myself by thinking this is strictly a defense mechanism. I think that only those who are willing to bridge that gap are worth keeping around in the long run. While that may be true, I've had a few instances of people who do bridge that gap who just weren't. Who knows how many people who weren't willing to build bridges that were? I, obviously, don't. I am not immune to being wrong. I am not immune to fear.
It's this same fear that makes some of my life, and the choices therein, more difficult than they have to be. So, i repeat.
I must not fear...