Monday’s Meditation: On Ignoring The Alarms & Embracing The Unfamiliar
As ridiculous as it, the miserable familiar still manages to be more appealing to us than the unknown.
Survival, for one.
No matter how grueling or frustrating or debilitating our present circumstances, familiarity has helped us to develop mechanisms for coping specifically manufactured for the triggers we’re facing. What we are accustomed to, we are equipped to survive.
We know how to navigate the twisted web of personalities at the job we loathe. We know how to soothe ourselves on a surface level after dealing with confrontation, stress, traffic, clutter.
Moreover, a miserable familiar life allows us to have expectations, and few things make us feel safer than those. It doesn’t matter that what we might expect is pretty shit. We are still comforted by the lack of surprise threats our lives provide. That we can expect just how happy we’ll feel at the end of the day, or when we wake up in the morning gives us solace.
What we know is safe. And safe means survivable. (Check box on most basic human instinct.)
What’s alarming is how preferable our reptilian, fight-or-flight brains deem the miserable familiar over the unknown.
But feeling fear doesn’t make you a wuss. It doesn’t mean that you must run as fast as you can in the opposite direction of change.
Fearing the unknown is an indication of how strong we are, how in-tact. Look at us; all systems firing! Our alarm system passes the test! We know it’s going strong, and it’s definitely going to weigh in if and when an actual, real threat to our survival presents itself! How great is that?!
The trick is, we have to know when to tune out the alarm, to perceive it as a default reaction that, while we’re grateful to have in the event of a real emergency, we don’t require at the moment.
Picture yourself cooking a meal. You’re ravenously hungry and desperate for some sustenance, so you do something you don’t usually do, and crank that heat up really high. You’re watching carefully as the oil sizzles and crackles, and the steam rises, and the heat blasts. Just before you’re about to call the food done, your smoke alarm goes off. You can’t believe how loud it is, and you probably say a few swears and make like a mad person to open the windows. But you aren’t panicked in the slightest. You know more than it, that there isn’t a fire. So you thank the detector for working so effectively, and then, as fast as you’re able, you locate that reset button, press the detector into silence, before sitting down to enjoy your meal.
The presence of some smoke doesn’t necessarily mean FIRE! In matters of self-evolution, hope and intuition are the voices to channel, not fear.
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