I’m not a psychologist or either a student in psychology. I spent a good amount of time in my life reading personal development books but in the end, I’m just a Front-End Web developer, who writes code. I had the chance to live in different countries and created real and profound relationships with people with different cultures, different colors, different ages, different religions, different visions of the world… I couldn’t imagine my life without all these persons and what they brought to my existence.
Talking and sharing life’s moments with all these people made me realized something you may know already: most of the human beings struggle in being happy and spend most of their lives, living in their past and acting or not acting based on numerous fears. Fear and past are the two biggest challenges that every human in history had to face.
Fear is more than just a word or a feeling you experimented watching horror movies. Fear is just the most powerful weapon that, in 2019, is killing more than any other weapon in the world.
Fear does not just kill physically people, fear kills creativity, originality, growth, relationships, marriages, ideas, will, happiness… Fear makes you feel bad at work because you think you don’t know enough, it pushes you to fail at the University: fear to not be good enough, fear to fail another relationship, fear to talk too much, fear to not talk enough, fear to be judged, fear to be invisible, fear to be different, fear to not be understood…
With all the social media platforms, we try to connect people, reduce the friction in creating new possible relationships, and it works. We have so many incredible situations, made possible thanks to all these platforms out there. But I don’t think it’s really enough to make people fearless. You can be a movie star, or a famous singer, at the end of the day, your memories, your past is there. You can’t really push the button rewind or delete. All of us need to learn to live with our past, our mistakes. And that’s probably one of the most complicated parts of being human.
Take 2 minutes to analyze your day until now: I doubt you didn’t find any trace of fear pushing you to act or say something you didn’t really want to.
We can’t do anything to change our past, including yesterday. We can try to forget or think that we are not attached to it, and yes, you are right, our pasts don’t define who we are. But our pasts mold our personality and our beliefs, and beliefs are something so hard to change sometimes. We can battle a whole life and try to change our pasts, but you know and I know that it’s a waste of time. Our pasts are all painful, we all have moments we would like to forget, people that make us feel bad, people that hurt us, friends, parents, that disappointed us, love relationships that created a hole in our heart… Fortunately, not physically.
So what are our options? Actually, do we have options? Maybe we have an easy option. And if we tried to choose the one the majority chooses? That would work? I don’t think I have an answer that would make you feel happy. The only answer that I can think of, is that accepting our past, whatever happened, whatever you lived is probably the only way to live our present and feel that joy that exists in every little thing around you.
I know what you may think: “Easy to say, hard to do”. Does anyone told you in your entire life: “Things are easy!”? Just ask you the question. Why most of us want something easy instead of something true. What happened in the history of humanity to make us believe that life equal easy or hard? Why can’t we just say that things are how they should be, and we need to choose the way we want to react when we are facing them? The way we choose to react and act is what matters.
When someone out there, our neighbor, a president, a friend decide to create a wall in their garden or between countries, we all think and believe that it is not a solution or even an option. But how many times, did we create a mental barrier between us and the world? How many times, did we get nervous because we don’t have full control over our life’s events? How many times, did we get angry because our child felt and instead of showing him love, we yell at him because we were afraid it could hurt himself? Afraid that next time, he could fall being alone? It’s easier to hide that fear behind that attitude than accepts and embrace that uncomfortable feeling of fear and react with love.
Maybe things in your life, made you create layers. Layers of protection to “help you face life’s challenge”. Really? Are you feeling happiest since you closed some doors and people think you are a negative person? Is the world a better place because you hide your feelings and you are not able to cry anymore? I don’t think so.
I wish I could have multiple lives (some people believe in it), but the one we all have is the one we are currently living. And we usually don’t regret things we did, but things we were not able to achieve and to do, like be open to our wife or husband, show to our kids that we are not perfect and that we made mistakes sometimes.
In some cultures, some places in the world, you can’t really talk about fear and past. You can’t talk about the struggle you have in your life. A lot of people across history tried their best to remove some humanity in some cultures and who really wants to defeat centuries of culture which forces you to not be yourself? Things are not equaled in the world, but it’s not a reason to not try.
What makes people think they can’t talk about their issues, once again, fear is probably behind that for most cases.
Sometimes I’m not sure why, in a work environment, people can’t say “I don’t know, I’m not sure, I’m having doubts lately…” Is an issue to be human nowadays? Because I feel, I can’t work? Because I’m not sure, I will not be a good employee? Of course, a company is a place for you to work, help a company to grow and get more value in the market but is it not a place where humans live, breath and share emotions and moments?
I met many people around the world that were themselves at home, but could never be themselves at work. Look at your right… yeah, you found him/her!
Things are going fast, technologies like cryptocurrency, AI, VR, autonomous cars, all of that is changing and is going to change our worlds. But in the end, fears, layers, will always be there, and one day, a lot more people will have to seek help if they want to be free from all of that. Life will always be what it is, but all of us can improve other’s lives, being there when they need, sending a small message asking if everything is fine. We don’t really need to make big efforts to help our world to feel better. Believing that you can do a lot for the people around you is the first step.
Right now, maybe a friend is waiting to receive a message from you. A signal to make him feel he is not alone. Have someone that can reassure him that his/her past will not define his/her tomorrow.
…What are you really waiting for? 📲
Disclaimer: I usually write articles about code, immigration, and tech, but a lot of my friends are lately facing the same issues, and even I try my best to help them, it’s also up to them to take action and choose the life they really want. This article is a way to hopefully help other people that may be facing the same issues in their lives. Let me a comment if you find this article relevant for your life!
Originally published on Medium
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