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Personal reflection on fear

At the moment there’s a lot going on in the world and I’m becoming acutely aware of reactions in me to what’s happening in the world, but also seeing the reactions of the people around me. 

Even observing externally people that are reacting in social media but even in our families and this is to do with what’s happened this last year with Covid. 

My personal feeling is at the moment there are a lot of people living in such fear that they are not necessarily thinking about the consequences of their actions as a result of experiencing this fear. 

For example, parents who maybe are not wanting to travel, go out possibly across borders, take flights which of course is challenging based on your beliefs about what potentially could or couldn’t happen. But even just going out into the world and living to such an extent that now I’m seeing rifts and families I wouldn’t say breaking up but gaps falling between families. 

The whole experience with Covid has created a huge polarity. 

My experience has been that if you have a specific view on the way it’s been handled or the rules about masks, no masks, no vaccination or vaccination. If you’re in alignment with what the family believes and this has happened in our family as well then everything is fairly okay. 

The conversation is sort of a blurred agreeable conversation. 

But if there’s any polarity at all it leads to difficult conversations. But it’s getting to a point now where it’s such a sensitive subject that some people just dodge it. 

They just avoid the conversation altogether or if they want to have the conversation they’re afraid to have a conversation because of that polarity and the fact that it then creates a heated debate, and unlike other discussions over whether the kids should wear certain types of shoes or what type of food they should eat, you’ll have those family different views they’re simple conversations to navigate. 

You can wind them out with comedy or you accept that’s the other person how they are but not with this. We’ve never seen such polarity in the way people are reacting and how strongly they stand by their beliefs, particularly if somebody’s going down the root of vaccination, and validate that by arguing for it. 

Equally someone who hasn’t gone down the route of vaccination and they will validate and argue for that as well. You get this huge contrasting set of beliefs and of course, because those beliefs are underpinned by the social media space or the news or what is seen as the conspiratorial views, it is leading to some really fascinating situations. 

I want to talk into that space and say if you find yourself there just remember to come from a place of love, come from a place where this is your family and I’m talking about families but it could be close friends. 

These are people you’ve known for a long time and I’m hearing of celebrities dissing their friends saying I’m not going to talk to them unless they wear a mask. 

The challenge with taking extreme views like that is it also plants seeds in other people’s minds. If we’re seeing well-known celebrities or people that we have respect for and seeing them act in a certain way and I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, I’m saying it’s the extreme of the reactions that can cause us to go, maybe I should do that. It’s happening just on a ground level inside families. 

This is our family. We love our family, we care for our family so much as we might have a belief that’s different to someone else in the family if you see beyond that those differences have always been there. We don’t choose our family, we choose our friends. That’s why people fall out or they have disagreements. 

Underlying all that it’s a blood connection, love, connection, parent connection, all these things, and if you still have that same depth of connection with your family member and you love them to that extent unless, there’s been other risks that cause breakups that are reconcilable if leading into Covid actually things were pretty good and there was a good connection in turns of the family, don’t allow this global pandemic and the way it’s been handled, the way the media portrayed it don’t let any of those things come in the way of the fact that you have somebody you care about. 

I think we have to go back to the core of who we are and we are human beings with a massive heart and a massive capacity to love. 

We’re compassionate, understanding, empathetic and I think we have to carry those things into the tiniest of moments in our lives to enable those around us to have the space to breathe because if there’s tension coming from us and they’re expecting anticipating resistance and push and we’re coming from our heads rather than our hearts what they’ll do is naturally put up a barrier. 

You can’t fight pure and unadulterated, absolute, clear unconditional love and total presence being there when that person is sharing. 

So maybe yes you’re having a conversation with somebody that really is polar opposite to you. Just look at them and remember that whatever they’re feeling is based on a set of beliefs and how they see the world is based on how they’ve grown-up and experienced the world. 

Doesn’t mean to say they’re a bad person, they see things differently to you and if you can hold that feeling about them and know that they’re scared, they’ve got their own concerns and those fears might be greater than your to such an extent that they may have to just create a framework around them to make them feel safe. You come from a place of love and you just know that what you’re doing here is looking to create a space where you can meet in the middle. 

Now that’s not to say that I don’t necessarily agree with people living in such fear that they should just lock themselves down and not do anything. 

I personally feel that there is a point in life where you have to say, for example, if you’re a grandparent or a parent, my father died when I was 13 years of age, he was 46 years of age. If I could rewind and relive some of those moments I would spend more time with him. 

I’d ask him to spend more time with us. He was ill. He wasn’t necessarily capable of doing that, but I’d find ways with the wisdom I have today as a 55 year old and take them to my 13,12, 11 year old child as I was and find ways to squeeze those moments out. What I’m saying is, is it really worth living in that fear? 

What if something happens in the next six to 12, 18 months of you choosing not to go and see your grandchildren or spend time with them because you’re afraid to cross the border. If you look at some statistics, there are other illnesses and things that could happen to you that ultimately may cause your demise and your death, if that’s what you’re afraid of. Whereas if you were to cross that boundary, overcome that fear and protect yourself in whatever way you feel is appropriate and then put yourself in a position where you have that physical time with your grandchildren, your children, those memories will never leave. 

They will stay there and it may help you build your own strength. I remember when I drove down to see my mum after lockdown she was scared, she was scared of going out. She was very much afraid of going out and meeting people or somebody coming to the house, but when we finally got to the point where we were able to go down and we met her, the emotions, the tears, the joy, the connection. 

My kids were over the moon because they had that physical contact our children desperately needed. I grew up into a family where because of a family fall out, a family feud with my grandmother I actually didn’t see my grandmother literally decades before she passed away. 

To some extent that leaves a scar on our souls and it leaves us with memories that will go through all the way to our adulthood and then as parents it were not careful and if we don’t have the emotional development we will then start to behave like that ourselves. 

We don’t want to be these distanced, removed, emotionally detached people. That’s not how we’ve evolved as human beings, we’ve evolved as human beings to have a massive capacity to laugh and to connect. Is this fear so strong that you’re prepared to give up all of those memories? 

I went to an event this weekend where one chap was saying that he and his kids have not seen their parents for a year because of a lockdown. What does that do to the children?

Take the opportunity to face your fears and ask yourself sensibly, am I comfortable weighing this up, taking action to go and see people around me that I care about? 

Again, that’s just me saying think about it. I can’t tell you what to do. 

That is not my intention here, but I’m asking you to emotionally weigh the debt of that and whether the fear is justified if you really look at the statistics, and are you protected if you weigh that up. Is it just the fear of something that’s really not tangible?

Sometimes we attach so much fear to a specific idea that we don’t stop to step back and actually look at it objectively. 

I do believe that it’s time to stop living in fear because this world if we carry on like this we’ll pass that feeling of fear on to our kids. It will become embedded in the psyche of our children and their experience of their memory of their parents, grandparents is not a loving one, but one of them because of this I couldn’t see them. We have this innate desire to connect with our parents and grandparents. 

I guess my message is for your children, do whatever it takes and find a way to connect with them.

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