Monday, 22 July 2013

I am exceptionally afraid of physical suffering because of the suffering I have witnessed.
I am also afraid of my own fear - of its implications.  I really do believe that what we fear, we only bring closer to us.  

I remember, very clearly, the first time I thought that I would have a horrible, long-term illness.  I was very little, and at dinner with a family friend.  She is a doctor and my Father and her were discussing the recent news that HIV/AIDS was turning into an awful global epidemic (remember this was the late 80s or early 90s).  I was curious and wanted to know more.  They explained the disease and its cause and prevention.  I said something to the effect of, Well. If I get that AIDS thing, I'll fight it off.  My Father's friend said, You can't fight it. You have to just not get it.
For some reason, I could not process the fact that I would just avoid this new disease they were talking about, and leave it at that.  I thought to myself. Oh. Maybe if I don't get AIDS, I'll get cancer instead. For some reason, I couldn't compute a disease-free life.

That thought stuck with me.  Now, just over two decades later, I am more afraid than ever.  And I mean, really afraid.  Heart-disease is in my family, but do I fear it? No.  Is it a fearsome thing? You bet. It sucks big time.  But it isn't in my consciousness.

Maybe fearing an enemy you have never seen is easier than fearing the one you've observed closely.  And maybe we are conditioned to fear things.  Even as children.

I want to know how to un-think that thought I had, way back then. I want to live free of the fear that I will suffer, and free of the burden of remembering the suffering I have witnessed.  

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