“How do I prepare myself for the worst?” A friend of mine asked me the other day, and I started wondering why do we always assume the worst first? Why are we so scared of the unknown that we think it’s going to attack us and stab us in the back? Why is the future associated with trepidation instead of tranquility?
We are always scared of the unknown considering that we fear the future will mirror our past, because we are born to believe that history repeats itself. But human beings are not history, they reinvent themselves instead of repeating themselves. If you are scared of the future, I ask you to try to see it as a challenge rather than a threat, a pleasant surprise, or a compelling story that is still unfolding. Sometimes knowing the ending ruins the story, and life is all about the story.
If you are scared of tomorrow, think of the things you can control today, the things you have now, think of just today and how you can get through it. Think of how you can make today slightly better, think of how you can make this day a good day in case history repeats itself tomorrow. Think of making today count, maybe that is the only possible way you can prepare for tomorrow.
If you are scared of the worst that can happen, think of all the times in the past you were scared of what may come, and thought of worst case scenarios that never happened.
If you are scared of failure, think of the past regrets you had because you didn’t try, think of the “what ifs” and “if onlys” you asked yourself when you felt that life is passing you by. Think of failure as not trying rather than winning. Think of failure as a battle you lost but a war you could still win. Think of failure as a complicated friend rather than a vile enemy.
If you are scared of not being enough, think of the story of the twenty dollar bill, when the speaker held it up after he dropped it on the ground and fumbled it in the dirt, after he almost ripped it apart, and yet many raised their hand and still wanted it because it was still a twenty dollar bill.. Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, good enough or not good enough, your value never changes, you are still priceless to those who love you and those who will love you.
If you are scared of heartbreak, think of the wisdom and strength you gained from your heartbreak, think of the self-discoveries you made out of your isolation and introspection. Think of the times that your brokenness inspired you to write, or sing, or dance, or just pack your bags and travel. Think of how you were not afraid of love once upon a time, and why you should never be afraid of love again. If you are afraid of love, perceive it as an act of giving rather than receiving. If you are afraid of love, think of how you can be even more afraid of loneliness.
If you are scared of death, think of the many times you died inside and how you came to see the light of day again. Think of all the near death experiences you had and remember how those experiences made you a lot more aware of your life and a lot more appreciative of it. We are mortal and there is absolutely nothing we can do about it. You are here now, so be here, let the threat of death pave the way for you to live a daring life. Let’s live like we are dying, than die like we had never lived.