Today a lot of us woke up to the news of the terrible atrocity in Paris attacks by a few mindless thugs that acted out vengeful, evil and anger filled killings. My heart goes out to the people affected by this event and hope they will be able to find some peace in the support and love shared from around the world. These few people that act in this way are attempting to cause fear and instability in the world and why I feel that now is the time to discuss why we should all confront our fears and learn to live without fear to show our solidarity and empathy for those innocent souls the world lost yesterday.
We are all afraid of something
Do not feel like you are the only one who is afraid, everyone is afraid of something. Even the hardest man that may appear made of steel and very strong physically will be afraid of something but it is something none of us discuss to others for fear of appearing weak but now, with something so terrible happening last night, is the perfect time to identify and start challenging ourselves to face our fears.
Do not fight fear with fear, fight it with lightness, a can do attitude and a carefree nature
When you have two angry dogs confront each other what tends to happen?
Fighting, violence and pain ensue.
If one of the dogs was placid and chose to not react to the anger of the other and instead, chose to walk away and live his life playing fetch, eating good food and being petted by those who love him then the only one who feels the pain is the angry dog.
We must learn to live like that carefree dog and enjoy what we do, not care about if people laugh at us or get angry with us, just do what makes us happy, that is fundamental for a fulfilling life.
Do not let others define your life
Something we also tend to do is listen to what other’s people’s opinions are of things and people and that fear they discuss then becomes a part of your own mentality unless you choose to only listen to the way you feel and that is exactly what I did when I booked a holiday this summer to Egypt.
This painting (soul tree) below I created (1m x 1m ) fundamentally depicts this ideology of letting go off the past comments and perspectives of others in order to start a fresh and have a clear mind for the future decisions.
If you are interested, learn more about this painting in this article about the Soul Tree
Do not judge a community because of foolishness in a few
I have been very fortunate in the last few years to travel to quite a few countries of both Europe and Northern Africa. It was always a dream of mine to visit Egypt and this year I managed to go there. It was all over the news that ISIL were starting to invade Egypt in the Sinai peninsula and having already blown up many ancient relics and monuments I wanted to ensure I saw Egypt’s (and the world’s) first civilization before they had a chance to ruin any of the magic of Egypt’s history.
So I booked a ticket for two weeks, during the period of Ramadan ( I am so glad I went at this time ) and began to prepare an itinerary that explored a lot of the major sites of Egypt. Luxor, Hurghada, Cairo, Memphis, the Nile, Sakara and more!
I admit, initially I had some apprehension about going to Egypt because of ISIL but then I refused to let the news or a few idiotic people stop me from living life, I would not allow the fear they are trying to convey stop me visiting a country I have always wanted to see.
The majority of the people I met in Egypt are fantastic! They are kind, generous and warm hearted and not once did I feel in danger or that they had anything but warm hearts. In particular I remember one time I went to the Valley of the Kings and down into Ramses III tomb and there was an Egyptian local man there who was pointing out paintings on the walls and even let me stand in the place where the tomb of the Pharaoh was once laid to rest.
As thanks I gave him 20 Egyptian pounds (equivalent of around $3) and he returned me with a hug, a huge smile, a kiss on my arm and genuine warm hearted thanks and beaming smile that I have never experienced in my life. This is the nature of many Egyptian muslims that I encountered.
This was just one example of the nature of the Egyptian people , their hospitality was genuine and warm and I can’t explain how much it hurts when I see people being afraid of travelling to countries such as these because of the mindless few because it is the good muslim people (the majority) of Egypt who are going to suffer because of idiotic acts against innocent people.
I also went to Morocco, Marrakech the year before and again the people are the kindest and most open people you can meet, do not let fear define where you travel, you’ll always meet good people wherever you go in the world.
Be open minded with an open heart and you will have nothing to fear.
Do live your life to the full…without fear!
If we live our lives with fear in our hearts and we listen to the fear and choose to never confront it then we will stop living. You HAVE TO confront your fears whatever they may be.
I know how hard it can be to face fear, I have done it myself when I had severe depression & social anxiety. I got really fed up of my situation of going nowhere fast and started to tackle how I felt about certain situations and put myself directly into the things I feared most.
When facing your fear it does feel like being put in a room full of raging wolves, your adrenaline pumps, you start to sweat and your heart beats faster, its uncomfortable, sure, but the more you do it the more you realise there is no ravaged dogs at all , it was all your imagination and you eventually start to lose the fear.
The terrorists group wants us to be afraid of going to predominantly muslim countries but like any anxiety, really we should be defying them, showing them we are not afraid and supporting the good people that belong to these nations.
The reality is one day we are ALL going to die
If we live life by fear and we make decisions based on that feeling then we are choosing not to live life to the full, letting our life fade away.
You have to ask yourself, do you want to live a life based on fear? Our life is really short anyway if we are lucky enough to make it all the way to old age and can unfortunately be even shorter for others.
If we consider that in our mind when we begin to be fearful then we should push ourselves out of our comfort zone and defy anything or anyone trying to cause fear.
Live life fully . Defy your own fears. Defy the fear creators.
Thanks for sharing this great post John!