Tuesday, October 24, 2006

J'ai peur!!



I was never scared growing up. I never knew uncertainty or fear. I was generally happy and still am but it’s safe to say that with time it seems that I lose more than I gain. It could all be in my head. It could be that the gain to input is actually linear but, as we invest more time in life, we do develop higher expectations from it. With regards to everything, may that be professional or personal life, I now am scared. I heard myself saying that to a friend at the first sight of a serious relationship developing in my life. When did this happen? I try to find the girl who used to throw herself at life without a second thought. I used to be fearless. I ventured years ago into countries and procedures and adventures and hearts and lives completely foreign to me. I find myself lately shaking at the thought of any change. I used to drive like a maniac, now I drive like my mother. I feel exhausted when I think of some of the things I used to do. I feel scared too. Where does fear come from? And why is it proportional to age? And the idea that it develops at some more than others tells us that the predisposition to develop a lower threshold to fire the fear responses is what? Genetic?

Certainly there is a separation between conditioned and unconditioned fear. In the case of conditioned fear or unconditioned (exposure to new environment) Oxytocin is released from the pituitary gland. The mechanism of response to fear is well understood. Conditioned fear, as the name implies, relies on experience and is highly dependent on age. The exposure to a new environment could induce stress which explains people’s fear of change. While conditioned fear is obviously dependent on age, unconditioned fear should not be. Or maybe the more we know and we rely on experience as we go older, the more we are surprised and scared when faced with a new experience in our life. The question remains, why some people have higher fear responses than others or yet why some people develop a more sensitive fear response at an earlier stage in life? How does age control Oxytocin release? Is my pituitary aging faster than others’ and becoming more jumpy? Have I had more traumatic experiences that are deterring me from new environments? Or am I just predisposed to fear?

What’s the fear factor?

18 comments:

anny said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ostfen said...

M, very nice

Lirun said...

sounds like someone turning 30..

:)

ps get over it.. 30 is the new 18

gitanes legeres said...

wow! very interesting..
ur fear factor i'd call "living": all that fills time and memory (an incredible amount of experience, sensations and observations..etc)and we carry that around in our brains.
the more we live, the thicker(richer, deeper, more dense) we see: we r more scared. we lose the legerete.

Hatem said...

I think the more luxurious life we live; the more we get used to it, and the more we become afraid of losing it. It’s obviously related to age because we grow up in our career and get attached to materialistic things that we deeply know that they can go away in a minute...
I think...

Ghassan said...

fiery... think of yourself as fiery.

Mone said...

Hi Mirvat,
It s nice to see your beautiful face (left) and your scared face (right) :):)
Thank you for sharing this important issue. I dealt with fear for very long time and I have my view on it. I think fear has so many varieties. Let s see.

Perhaps our first scare is at the time when we are born, after the warm room in the womb you get these annoying people screaming and looking at you with so much noise :):)
But shortly after, kids rarely show fear automatically. It's a learned behavior. A kid is not afraid of falling until the child falls and get hurt... so it grows with you as you fall more and get hurt more... but it doesn't stop at that.

Psychological fear is introduced. Everyone contribute. Parents start scaring kids by punishing them if they do wrong, introducing the concept of god who punishes, concept of burning in hell, man that really scared me, Then our political system complement this technology and introduces more fears.

Another kind of fear as we grow up is the one introduced by ourselves. We get accustomed to us :) We get really comfortable with our skins :) Then we see it getting old.
In addition, our Society and marketing demands that happiness is not there unless you do this and that. You need to be skinny, get a nice car, bigger house, The perfect partner, The right shoes, the right pants, the right boobs :) The list is endless. And off course no one can satisfy it all. Guilt starts to build up and we start fearing that we are doing is not good enough.

Fear and religion follows. You may think you are not affected but we all are. I think initially these great folks, Christ/Buddha/Moses/Mohammad never wanted it this way. They were all trying to tell us we are not all mass, only a physical being, there is also another being that is immortal within us. They all try to tell us to contemplate that thoughts. The intent I believe was to find a separation between body and something else, call it spirit, soul, XFactor..whatever.The intent is not to be the body one hundred percent, not to be the XFactor 100% but to find the relationship.
Take Ramadan for example, The concept of not eating I believe is made to temporarily starve your physical body, by contemplating on that quietly (not through murmuring of words :) you can find the one that is starving (The body) and the witnessing self that is there thus establish that relationship... However currently the opposite is happening. Instead of eating less, they eat more before and after, they try to run away from that which they need to face. Hunger becomes a nuisance instead of blessing, Why they do that I believe is first wrong education but also because they are scared subconsciously, Hunger is uncomfortable but it is also a slow death to the body, one looses mass, In reality the cells in the body are dying and since our concept mostly mass, that mass get really scared of loosing itself.

Given all that, fear continues to creep to our lives more and more, the more we live, more experiences we receive the more fear creeps in. One way to decrease fear I found is to go back to that state of joy when we were kids and free. Free from all of that, just free, perhaps by playing with kids and just looking at that LEGO castle as the most important thing in the world.

Next we must face our biggest fear: Our fear of getting old, being alone, and dying...If we conquer that, then we can live the rest of our lives happily, if not we will be scared until we finally die :)

So how to face fear of getting old and dying. Certainly not by killing ourselves :) But if we find something closer to death, something simulate it. I think darkness can be used. Darkness, loss of control. With this we can face by sitting quietly and facing that darkness (In more fancy words : Meditation sorry I keep coming to that) Slowly slowly, we find we are still there. Without no stimulus from outside we are happy, very happy. Alone, in a corner, no Make up, no TV, no car, no sex, no words of compliment no nothing, we are still there and aware. this is again my experience. Not something I read. I am just sharing :) :)

Anyways...it s getting way tooo long of a comment, hope I didn't bore anyone to death or should I say scare anyone to Death :):):)

Ingrid said...

Mirvat, as a child, I was fearless too because that's how children are. Full of expectation. I do think the older you become, the more experiences and thought you put into all the information you get from all around you. All around us are differing the degrees of fear and uncertainty telling us subconsciously, 'gee, that could happen to me'. Sometimes fear is a sign of something deeper that has been suppressed, and then your brain is out of whack, needing to be 'retuned' as it were. As for myself, I have had to start taking meds for the severe panic attacks I've been experiencing and that of itself scares me! I'm 'miss anti-pills' now feeling out of control because of this fear that feels like it's in every cell of my body. I was told it was a biological thing and some people just are predisposed for it. Lucky me! (not) but..fear tells us something, not in the black and white 'fight or flight' situation, but deeper concerns we are used to non verbalizing. On another note Mirvat, do not discount hormonal imbalance. It's ourlot in life of (some) women (although it doesn't sound that's what's going on with you)most noticeable with post partum depression.
AND...we are creatures of habit, even if we're the spontaneous type, and your changes that you're perceving well, it's in our species' biology, we need certain predictors in order to function in life.
Anyway, I guess the fear factor could be boiled down to biology.
Just my thoughts,
peace girl,
Ingrid

Maya@NYC said...

fears... so many from so many things...
some of them acquired, some innate...
maybe a sign of scarring? maybe a sign of maturity? just a survival mechanism?
let the most fearful survive!

Anonymous said...

“It's fear of the unknown. The unknown is what it is. And to be frightened of it is what sends everybody scurrying around chasing dreams, illusions, wars, peace, love, hate, all that--it's all illusion. Unknown is what it is. Accept that it's unknown and it's plain sailing. Everything is unknown--then you're ahead of the game. That's what it is. Right?”
John Lennon.

Kifek Mirvat....Chad in LA.

krys said...

Nous arrivons parfois à un point où nous prenons tout bien trop à cœur : nous même, les autres, nos erreurs, nos projets et la VIE de manière générale.
Nous nous froissons pour un rien, rapidement l’inquiétude s’installe puis cède la place à l’irritabilité,la tension et la peur.
C\'est le phenomene \"se prendre au sérieux\"
Un matin on se lève submergés par nos responsabilités, nos envies et nos obligations, qui concourent à faire de nous des êtres désabusés et sérieux.

L’humour et le recul se sont envolés.

La compassion, elle aussi, nous fait défaut.

Voila pourquoi on finit par perdre la faculté de nous émerveiller, de nous rendre compte à quel point la vie est un cadeau magnifique et de jouir de ce bien précieux et éphémere.

Considérons l’existence telle une étoile filante : nous ne sommes sur terre que pour un instant fugace.

Pouvons nous perdre ne serait ce qu’une seconde à lamenter notre sort, à être insatisfaits ou, à éprouver la contrariété et la peur ?

Ibn Bint Jbeil said...

Mirvat, let me just say that your poetics are so fulfilling and satisfying that I've yet to fully saturate myself long enough to give any adequate credit if I were to comment. But the day will come, I promise. As far as the factor of fear, I would like to speak to the idea of investment and effort that we put into the world that you mentioned: I think with time we do get back much from everything we input, given back to us in a different form called understanding, such as what you exhibit when you write. I believe that by the end of our life we have built towards (to one degree or another), or wasted our time not building, towards the purification of our heart and the understanding of our mind.

One persnal item: You've heard of Ibn Bint Jbeil, and now there's Bint Bint Jbeil! Yes, my daughter, although still in the womb, now has a blog. It's freaky, yes, but before you acccuse us of extreme virtual cyberparenting, it's just my wife and my writings and pictures about the baby, who's about to come. Check her out:
http://bintbintjbeil.blogspot.com/

jooj said...

Mirvat. Your posts are always thought provoking.
They say "Fear is the price of our instrument".
If not for fear, there is no such thing called courage.

Fear will always be there. I think we need it. Mastering it is the real challenge!

Lirun said...

i dont believe in the existence of fear.. just as i dont believe in darkness hatred evil and cold..

i think fear is the mere absence of courage as the other concepts respectively represent the absence of light.. love.. good and heat..

assessing risk as grand does not necessarily generate fear.. one can make rational decisions to avoid risk without engaging a blinding emotion..

as materialistic as it may sound.. i recall when i bought my first car.. it was a high value purchase item entirely on finance.. (including the insurance) but i thought id be spending a lot of time driving and working so i thought it would be worth pampering myself.. i started growing a bit nervous about the whole thing until my godfather said to me.. stop.. think.. decide and either do it or dont do it.. but dont waste time on fear..

of course i did it..

:)

Mirvat said...

thank you all for sharing your thoughts. all very valid explanations. the more we gain the more we worry about losing. we gain in life by investing ourselves in it and we grow attached to the status we reach. with that comes responsibility and fear. it's part of who we are and it certainly keeps up going.

IBJ alf mabrouk again, tirabba bi3izzkon nshallah and i think it's a fabulous idea that she already has her blog. i loved the post about the cookies!

Mar said...

I second Jooj. You need to change your surroundings or get out of it to face fear and embrace a new challenge only yo over come it. It makes us stronger, ever single time.
Ok, this will sound lame, but I like Cosmo's subtitle " Fun Fearless Female" :) why the heck not, life is too short yet it's all ahead of us.
Embrace it x0x0x

Mone said...

You summed it quite nicely Mirvat re Attachment. The solution for reducing fear then is becoming more and more detached. Then one become happier, courageous like Lirun said, and more free

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