I shoved fear into the dark corner of the studio, where it looked at me with longing as the lights shined on my face. I smiled. Or at least I think I did, as I said hello to Arianna Huffington, who I was interviewing for a series on satellite radio. Seven years ago.
I asked her fearless questions about fear itself. But I feared myself.
She explained how she overcame fear to get to the other side. But after the interview, the other side seemed silly. So I chose to stay in fear, with the voice of Morgan Freeman narrating my plight.
My fears knew me. They liked me. Or at least that's what Morgan Freeman was telling me in my head. My fears wanted me to stay difficult, and dark. They embraced the act of trying to transcend something. But never quite seeing the light.
Connecting with fears can transform your truth. It's the ultimate duality. Like a purposeful pain that makes everything ok. It intensifies imagination, and allows longing to linger. It wanders. It seeks. It's in this essence that you can engage with your errors. And hear the echoes of heartbreak. It's only here where you can harness where humanity lies.
These tiny cracks of chaos in our souls can teach us what it means to be human.
Without these cracks, and without the voice of fear, we become hollow. And while meaningless media and insta-quotes can instantly fill us up, we're often cured without struggle. We become superficial. And sapped.
Sure, Throwback Thursdays allows nostalgia to seep through our pores. But we're all suffering from the same vertigo at our cores. It's like we're watching the same black and white movie, and not aware of the fact that the actor picked up a cell phone -- and the year is 1920.
Life is not on our screens. And as much as I want to be seen, be heard, and be validated by social media, it's the duality of this digital existence that often disconnects. And divides.
The echoes of our egos cause us to crave connection that isn't really real. It's this pressure to always be something that can pursue us to be nothing -- but a banal blip in someone's scrolling.
Creative fear dances with the curious mixture of freedom and nostalgia. It slaps truth on the table, peppers it with passion, and massages more meaning into things that are possibly better left unsaid.
But unsaid things often slap back. Years later.
And then I think of seven years ago. And remember how connecting with someone felt like a bud blooming in snow-covered silence. You didn't need the noise of nostalgia blaring through the speakers of social. You could simply sit in solitude, with your fingers sweeping away the snowflakes, making magic. Not needing to mute.
Today's endless lack of silence can steal our solitude. We're drowned and drunk in the updates of utopia. But what do we gain?
We gain a lot when we detox the digital chaos at our core. When we learn to appreciate the void, and listen to the torturous sound of silence, we get liberated. We emerge with memorable music, not possessed by any mechanism, except the symphony of our smiles.
Creative fear requires grit and grace. It's not something you ace. You fall. You stumble. You mumble. You stay human. And then you wake up, and breathe into the freedom of becoming fearlessly aware. So you can tune out the blare.
And that's when you thrive.