Friday, October 22, 2010

FearLessNess - "ChildHood"

As children we all face a similar dilemma. We begin life as willful creatures who had yet to be tamed. We wanted and demanded things for ourselves, and we knew how to get them from the adults around us. And yet at the same time, we were completely dependent on our parents for many important things - comfort, protection, love, guidance. And so from deep inside, we developed an ambivalence. we wanted the freedom and power to move on our own, but we also craved the comfort and security only others could give us.

In adolescence we rebelled against the dependent part of our character. We wanted to differentiate ourselves from our parents and show that we could fend for ourselves. We struggled to form our own identity and not simply conform to out parents' values. But as we get older, that childhood ambivalence tends to return to the surface. In the face of so many difficulties and competition in the adult world, a part of us yearns to return to that childish position of dependence. we maintain an adult face and work to gain power for ourselves, but deep inside we secretly wish that our spouses, partners, friends, or bosses could take care of us and solve our problems.

We must wage a ferocious war against this deeply embedded ambivalence, with a clear understanding of what is at stake. Our task as an adult is to take full possession of that autonomy and individuality we were born with. It is to finally overcome the dependent phase in childhood and stand on our own. We must see the desire for a return to that phase as regressive and dangerous. It comes from fear - of being responsible for our success and failure, of having to act on our own and make the hard decisions. We will often package this as the opposite - that by working for others, being dutiful, fitting in, or submitting our personality to the group, we are being a good person. But that is our fear speaking and deluding us. if we give in to this fear, then we will spend our lives looking outward for salvation and never find it. We will merely move from one dependency to another.

For the most of us, the critical terrain in this war is the work world. Most of us enter adult life with great ambitions for how we will start our own ventures, but the harshness of life wears us down. We settle into some job and slowly give in to the illusion that our bosses care about us and our future, that they spend time thinking of our welfare. We forget the essential truth that all humans are governed by self-interest. Our bosses keep us around out of need, not affection. They will get rid of us the moment that need is less acute or they find someone younger and less expensive to replace us. If we succumb to the illusion and the comfort of a paycheck, we then neglect to build up self-reliant skills and merely postpone the day of reckoning when we are forced to fend for ourselves.

Your life must be a progression towards ownership - first mentally of your independence, and then physically of your work, owning what you produce.


Nurhayat said...

So far, my fav post, what a great piece of writing. The intrinsic relationship between adults getting older & increasing dependence is absolutely true, but at the same time, I think this is very natural (seems to be part of human nature?). With independence, many avoid tackling the real issues to attain it fully & remain content with containing the current degree of autonomy they have. To them, any autonomy is better than none, but my question is why settle for walking when you know you have the potential to run or leap? Fear is one of the ultimate back breakers in life, but the only way to overcome it is by stepping up to everything you are & can be as an individual....Now that is a real hard slap to any inner inhibitions/fears you may have, & after that first slap, I'm confident there won't be need of many to come after that!
Well done sir!

Calligrafist said...

Thank You Nur!

I Try and put things that are unique on my blog, that's the reason i started it. I've been overcoming my fears slowly and this hit it right on the nose!

LOL... thanks for the slap!

vanillawafer2991 said...

Love how u put this....this is so true. I'm slowly learning to be less dependent on my parents. And I pray to Allah (swt) that I stay passionate about my career goals. I never want to give in to the idea that I have to settle for a job/career that I don't enjoy. I believe that would cause me to become a bitter person...and perhaps unhappy with my life.


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