Where fear is, happiness is not. – Seneca
What does that mean?
This is another of those terse sayings that is fairly self-explanatory. However, for completeness, I believe the quote is reminding us that it is hard to be happy when we are afraid.
Even when at a scary movie, where we expect to feel fear, we are not happy in the moment of fear. Only afterwards, when we know we are safe and the movie is over do we feel the happiness for having had an enjoyable experience, for money well spent.
Most people, I imagine, would prefer a life filled with happiness, rather than a life filled with fear. It’s not a good thing to be stuck in a fearful state, unable to move beyond it to happiness. I know which I would prefer, and I imagine you have a similar preference as well.
Why is moving beyond fear important?
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like the idea of living in fear, much less the actual feeling of fear. I would like to think that most people would have similar feelings. While you are in fear, happiness will be very elusive, and that’s the whole point of the quote.
To regain happiness in the aspect of your life where fear is, one has to somehow overcome the fear. By moving beyond the fear, we open the space where fear was for the much more pleasant feeling of happiness. I don’t know about you, but that sounds good to me.
Moving past the fear, defeating it, isn’t always easy, but it isn’t necessarily tough either. Well, it isn’t tough if you are tougher than your fear. Getting rid of the fear, to me, is important. Not just to banish the fear, but also to allow happiness to replace it.
Where can I apply this in my life?
There are different kinds of fear. There are irrational fears or phobias. There are fears brought about by lack of knowledge or of the unknown. There are fears of hurt from real dangers outside of our control. There are many others, but we can start with an examination of these, and you can move on from there, as you see fit.
The first might be a fear of heights or of crowds. You can be happy, but not while in a fearful situation. This kind of fear can be worked on, but is best handled by professionals. If you have this fear and find it prohibits happiness, I would recommend you seek professional help.
The second on the list above are fears of things we do not know or understand. Again, when you fear something, it’s hard to be happy until either the fear, or the thing causing the fear, is driven out. This fear is easily cured, if you are willing to do your homework, and find out more about that which is causing the fear.
The third on the list above are the dangerous fears. These are real dangers to your health and safety. They are the fears that either must be cured by courage, or removed from your life. The first method is best for situations were there is no alternative, and is what firefighters and police would use. The second method is what I believe should be done in an abusive relationship. I hope that made sense.
Let’s pull back the curtain and look deep inside, shall we. What in your life brings you fear, and drives out happiness? I would try to avoid using things you dread, as there is a difference between dreading Algebra class and fearing it, right? Fear doesn’t come until the report card comes home, right?
Some things that generate fear can be avoided. The fear of a bad report card is largely avoidable by spending more time doing your work, studying, preparing, etc. How much happier would you be if you didn’t fear the report card? I wish I had thought of this when I was in school. 8(
This kind of avoidance requires a little planning and a lot of work, but I believe it’s worth the effort. For those who are no longer in school, consider what you do at work or your projects at home. Rather than fearing them, get started early, hit them hard and be done early. Fear avoided, happiness in abundance, right?
Some other things which generate fear simply must be overcome by being brave and steadfast. I gave as an example Firefighters and Police. However, many occupations require people to do things that may well generate fear.
If you can’t change professions, you’re going to figure out how to build your courage and smile despite the fear. Happiness will come as your courage expands and your fear shrinks, as well as at the end of the day.
We all have some fear in our lives, or things which generate fear. It is up to us to find a way over, under, through or away from the fear. I believe we all deserve happiness and a life free from fear. The only question is are we willing to work for it? What is your answer?
From: Twitter, @philo_quotes
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/l/luciusanna121160.html
Photo by jimmiehomeschoolmom