Being a person can be challenging sometimes. One of the things I struggle with is fear; not living my life beholden to fear. Not fear for myself, but for the people I love. It seems that love cannot exist without some measure of fear. To love is to be constantly worried about the fate of your beloveds and what could be happening to them at any point in time. When they are away from you, the fear of something happening that would keep them from returning arises. It’s not like every moment spent with them is blissful. We are still only human so we get bored, irritated, short-tempered, even angered by them and yet to be separated causes such emotional torture. A delayed response to a text, a forgotten promise to call, a late return home: any of these things is liable to create panic and send one into fevered imaginings of the worst that could have befallen your loved one. It’s exhausting and yet the instinct cannot be switched off. Muting it is the best for which one can hope.
At this rate, I’m not sure I could handle being a parent. I would be highly tempted to keep my kids locked in the house so that they would be within my reach at all times. This sounds absurd but it illustrates precisely the limits of this fear because at some point we all have to let go. A sense of perspective helps, knowing that the fact that everyone you love is under your watch is not a guarantee that you can prevent bad stuff from happening. After all, it has been the case that people get in accidents or injured right in front of their houses. Home feels like a safe space but in reality, that sense of safety is just an illusion.
And so it is that to love is to realise how powerless one is. It is to realise that no matter how much you will it, you cannot control your world much less what fate holds for those you love. This is very annoying for me as it runs counter to my strong desire to order, organise and control. So I am left with no choice but to learn to calm my fears and embrace life with open arms. I might as well free the ones I love to go out and explore the world because whether or not we are indoors, under my careful watch, I could never eliminate the risk of existing. I might as well live in a way that makes the risk worthwhile.