Fear. Fear of making mistakes. Fear of missing out. Fear of failing. Fear of the unknown. Fear of fear.
Fear has become pervasive in society, especially with all the recent disasters and tragedies. Fear seems to have escalated depending on where you live and how attuned you might be to local, national, and world news.
But what is fear, and how did it seep into the daily fabric of life? Webster defines afraid as “filled with concern or regret over an unwanted situation.”
A lot of times we seem to spend time trying to avoid “unwanted” things, and by doing so, miss out on potentially “wanted” things. What is so bad about unwanted things? What is so bad about mistakes? What is so bad about missing out? What is so bad about failing?
Sure there are epic failures and mistakes that can lead to severe consequences, and those are best to be avoided. I am not proposing we all go out and live life haphazardly without regard for ourselves and others. But as Anne Lamott wrote in Stitches,
It’s much better to wake up now in deep regret, desperate not to waste more of your life ....Because you will have finally awakened
I think to desperately not waste life involves making mistakes and failing. So my hope is that the fear of wasting life is larger than the fear of making mistakes and failing. That way, we all can go forth and make some beautiful mistakes that create a life well lived.
Beauty is a miracle of things going together imperfectly
(Anne Lamott, Stitches, pg.82).
May my life and yours be stitched by mistakes and failures that imperfectly yet beautifully create a life desperate not to waste more of life.