I like Frank Herbert’s Benegeserit Litany against fear:
“I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.”
And I acknowledge the evolutionary utility of fear.
It makes sense to avoid predators and other “clear and present dangers” – and fear to the point of immobility makes sense only in a social context where many others are running and keeping the attention of the predator.
As a hunter I found I could catch many animals who used the freeze response by the simple expedient of not looking directly at them nor walking directly towards them, but keeping them in my peripheral vision and approaching obliquely. I caught several blackbirds and rabbits that way, alive and by hand.
So many dimensions to everything in this reality we find ourselves in.
We worry what others may think of us, yet the reality is that most are so self obsessed they don’t think of us at all.
It’s like that quote from Oscar Wilde “the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.”
And perhaps my favourite quote from Wilde is a fitting end to this note:
“The tragedy of growing old is not that you feel old, but that you don’t.”