I've seen and heard this quote hundreds of times and never really thought about its meaning. Until now.
Granted, my fears are pretty meek compared to actual fears. Who actually gets scared about throwing up? This girl does.
But honestly, it's the anxiety of something happening that is truly scary - usually scarier than the thing that actually happens.
Take for instance my throwing up example. Anyone who knows me knows I wash my hands constantly, carry hand sanitizer religiously and avoid holding any friend's hair back during a drunken regurgitation. When people say they are/were/feel like they're sick, I inevitably follow it up with, "What kind of sick?!?" and pray they're fighting the common cold.
Well, all of these years of worry came to a head this past winter when I contracted a stomach virus and keeled over the toilet in dry heaves. It wasn't a picnic, that's for sure, but it was honestly not as bad as I thought it would be. Do I want to avoid it in the future? Sure. But do I need to be paralyzed every time someone tells me their stomach hurts? No way. The anticipation of it was worse than the 24 hours of feeling icky.
In that same vein, I spent months worried that an ex of mine wasn't in love with me. I used to dissect everything he said and did, hoping it would calm my fears and prove he was secretly in love with me but scared to say it. When I finally got the guts to confront him and ask how he felt (months and months later), I literally had a panic attack trying to spit the words out. And you know what? He told me he wasn't in love with me and didn't see a future with us.
After some crying, I later felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. The one thing I feared had happened - now I didn't need to fear it anymore!
So here I sit, still fearing all kinds of trivial shit that is out of my control - namely, relationship stuff. Dating gets me so worked up. I am terrible at it. I'm impatient and curious, and all I want is to know ASAP if what I'm doing is worth it and not a waste of time. But that's not how it works. You have to ride the wave in order to see where it goes.
A lot of my impatience has to do with my fears - my fear of not being able to trust my gut, "see" things for what they are or end up disappointed after getting my hopes up. I don't want any of that to happen.
But thanks to FDR, all I need to remember is being scared of something that hasn't happened yet is pointless. Worst case scenario, my fears come true. And then where will I be? I will be right where I'm at and perfectly fine.
Now, time to breathe.