Manual The Book of Fear

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Maybe they were relying on us to hold them back from despair or justify their whole lives.

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We simply loved them too much, and at the same time, felt them to be too weak, to ask them to take on our reality. We can be three years old and, without knowing any of this consciously, have taken such messages on board. Alternatively, we might have spent our most vulnerable years around a person who responded to any frustration caused by another person with extreme anger.

It can be hard to appreciate just how terrifying an enraged adult can seem to a sensitive two year old. No wonder we might be a bit scared of sharing some awkward news.

Our minds are freighted with fears that stem from things that happened under precise circumstances long ago but that continue to have a potent, subterranean, scarcely recognised and immense force in our lives today. By taking stock of the past, the task is to acknowledge that these fears are very real but only in a very limited place: our own minds. But these issues are firmly located in another era. We need to take on board an always unlikely-sounding thought, we are now adults, which means, there is a robustness to ourselves and to our dealings with others.

Another adult is highly unlikely to collapse on us and if they do, there are plenty of measures we can take. We will know how to help them cope with their grief, directly and indirectly. In reality, it will be very bad for a few hours, or days or weeks, but then eventually, as happens, they will get over it. They may be furious, they may shout, there may be some ugly words — but again, we are now tall and independent, we can get away, in extremis, we have the number of the police and a lawyer, we can let the fury vent, and like a well-built bridge in a hurricane, be utterly confident that we can withstand anything that will come our way.

To further lend us courage, we should remember a distinction between being kind and seeming kind. It can look as if the kind thing to do is never to anger or distress someone — and therefore, never to give a person we have loved unwelcome news. To stay with a person because we wish to avoid a few hours of unpleasantness is no favour to them — if we then go on to be bitter, mean, snide, unfaithful and depressed around them for the next few decades.

Book of Fear

A surprising amount of the misery of the world comes from people being overly keen to appear kind, or rather, too cowardly to cause others short term pain. The truly courageous way to leave is to allow ourselves to be hated for a while by someone who still loves us. Real kindness means getting out — even though the holiday has been booked, the apartment paid for and the wedding arranged. On our way out of a relationship, we might be stopped by a highly unfamiliar and deeply perturbing thought: what if we were — somehow — a bit to blame as….

It feels, right now, unbearable. Of course. But something holds us back: Fear. I have been working on the same book for months now. It started with a series of posts someone told me would make a great book.

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And then another, and then another asked if I was going to write a book about this topic. Even people at my day job were asking the question.

I knew I needed to write this book. And in fact, it was in this act of starting a book I began having other ideas for books which have been unleashed from my mind.

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And stories, and posts, and other creative outlets. It started to just explode out of me. And so, I started writing the book. And then something happened…. It is the root of more unhappiness than poverty, disease, and erectile dysfunction.

The book — Fear, illustrated

To yield to Resistance deforms our spirit. It stunts us and makes us less than we are and were born to be. What I have found in starting the endeavor of writing a book, is how resistance takes the form of fear. Fear which is very specific to most writers. And it is something which I cannot discount. What if I fail at writing a book?

What if I complete it and it sucks? What if I put it up on Amazon and only ten people buy it, me and a few family members?

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These fears creep in on us and take us hostiage. They make it hard write the book, so instead I comment on blog posts. And yet, I cannot help but push on to want to write this book. My body, soul, and spirit are driving me to write a book which might just fail. But, at least I will have written it. And yet, I wake up early. I go to coffee shops on my lunch.

And I stay up late and write. I put words to page and continue to write my book. Writing a story which is more than a topic. And I know when I finish my book, get it edited, and published, it will be a success. After all, I am not a bestselling author.