Fearing Regret / Regretting Fear

Posted on March 20, 2009

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In my opinion, the scariest thing in the whole world is the fear of the unknown.

It’s like you’re hanging off a cliff in pitch black…not knowing whether to let go, or hang on until help arrives. Because for all you know, the floor could be littered with jagged rocks waiting to rip you to pieces as soon as you loose grip. On the other hand, there could be a strategically placed collection of puffy cushions…arranged to make sure you feel no pain when you fall.

Do you take the risk? Do you have nothing to lose?

Most rational fears boil down to this one thing…not knowing what’s going to happen next. You’re terrified of heights because just about anything could happen while you’re up there. Take that moment of realization when you’ve taken a wrong turn into unexplored territory for instance, or that chill when face-to-face with an aggressor. If you had been pre-warned that the assailant was going to first aim for face, you’d know to stick up your hand and protect it. And if you had a map in hand, you’d discover where exactly you were, and figure out the easiest route to get you back on track.

But what when you don’t? What when you don’t have that manual that defines which part fits into outlet B. When you don’t have the blurg to a book that tells you what’s inside? Or when you don’t have a recipe, but just the ingredients. What do you do then?

You’re scared shitless that you’ve made the wrong decision. That after taking a right at the fork, you realize that you should have taken the left one all along.

And after that?
I suppose we could regret. Swear at the circumstances. Blame the sun for falling in your eyes even. Or we could make it work for us.

I just saw this documentary, where this one man in a war-torn country decided to take a new route to walk to work one day. Less than halfway through his trek, he tripped on a rock, fell on a landmine, and lost his arms for good. He spoke of his remorse. How for the first few years he lived every day regretting having ever taken that alternative route.
But now this man…he writes with his feet. He wakes up each morning, brushes his teeth and puts on his clothes everyday…using just his feet.

It’s a terrible thing to afflict anyone sure…but I feel that sometimes shit happens to strong people, to serve as inspiration for the not so strong. Just like we follow the lives of Hollywood personas, the struggling and torn turn to others as messed up for guidance, reassurance and faith.

So that maybe one day they too can let go of their regret, move on, and be ready to make a decision again with fear as fresh and raw as the previous one.

Easier said than done of course. But this is just me, and my curiosity getting the better of me; rying to find a loophole in the document labelled ‘Unfair.’

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