I’ve had this concept floating around in my mind all week: fear stemming from past events can shape present perception. Of course, I think the majority of us are becoming more and more aware of the validity of this statement. After all, fear is a normal part of the human psyche and the animal kingdom as a whole.
It once served solely as a form of protection to steer us away from life-threatening situations, but as modern society and the modern intellect formed, the need to fear once-imminent dangers drastically decreased, leaving the mind free to assign fear to numerous situations, whether the threat be actual or perceived.
Throw in our reactions and conditioning from past experiences, and the fear spirals into a myriad of emotions that are typically viewed as negative, i.e. hate, anger, anxiety, and even depression and a sense of hopelessness. I personally contribute the negative way I often view relationships and my periodically returning fear of losing everyone to past trauma, grief, and the bitter endings of every connection that I have lost up until this point. If given too much idle time to ponder, my mind will take my present, semi-isolated state and project that into a doomed future, which I obviously have no actual way of knowing, but my ridiculous brain tries it’s best to convince me otherwise.
Rather than belittling each other for our fears, it is extremely important that we acknowledge our own and those of others. Even if it seems preposterous to us, that fear is very real to the person experiencing it. Once the fear is recognized, we can begin to identify the underlying reasons behind it and find ways to help overcome it, including exposure therapy, learning new coping skills, and behavioral reconditioning.
As with all other ailments of the human condition, kindness is key. Always strive for compassion towards others.