Sunday, December 26, 2010

Twas the Night After Christmas

So there you have it, Christmas is over for another year, turkey sandwiches are in full swing and we are now firmly in that disorientating week that goes on till New Years Eve and a bit beyond.    That non week where the days feel redundant and jumbled up and you have to keep reminding yourself where you’re not supposed to be and what you’re not supposed to be doing.     A week where all the usual routines we have set up go topsy-turvy and that old familiar face, the one with two hands and twelve numerals, relinquishes its importance for a little while and permits us to take a load off.     

The rest of the time however we live by the clock and by the time it’s telling us it is.    And we’re so used to being told what time it is and what we have to do in that time that when this is removed as in right now and also Bank Holidays all the regular type structures and patterns that we normally have in place continue on in our minds despite the many reminders that we are indeed on a break.     We are so bound to the clock that although breaks and Bank Holidays are most welcome they do come at an unusual price, they seem to completely tip the weekly scales.      When we lose a day we also lose that sense of what the day after would have been as well as the day before.     How many times have you woken up in the morning and for a split second didn’t know what day it was and had to think of what you did yesterday so that you would know what today is.    The week is like a string of pearls, take one day out and the whole thing feels wonky.     I’m really mainly talking here about having time off whilst not being on holiday.     Holidays are a whole different kettle of fish as the Monday to Friday measure becomes almost non-existent and the only two dates to remember are departure and arrival.      In between them is holiday time and that means a holiday from time, clock time to be exact.    

Clock time is the same the world over.     Seconds, minutes and hours are the configurations which enable us to frame time for ourselves.     Without them life is unimaginable.     The first time I saw the film ‘Castaway’ with Tom Hanks and the moment of shock where the audience is finally told how long he had been deserted on that island, I remember there being an aghast murmur that echoed in the whole cinema.      It is the moment where we realise what it means for the character to have had all that time go by where he could have been somewhere else somewhere he actually wanted to be.     Later on when he finally manages to escape on his makeshift boat and is looking back at the island where he’d lived it is the first time in the film that music starts to play in the background as though bringing both him and us slowly back to civilisation again.     And as you watch him watching the island that stripped him of time and place you could imagine he’s watching four years of his life right there in front of him and how small it must now seem from a distance as the boat sails further away.    I always find that scene so poignant and so sad.    I think it is the perfect metaphor for looking back on our lives and feeling a wide range of emotions all at the same time.   

And from deserted islands to desserts, I must now turn my attention back to the fact that we are still on a break from work, schedules and routines and with that comes this lovely little clause which states that for a limited period of time we are permitted to eat whatever we want and in whatever quantity we want to.      The clock dictates to us no more than we dictate to it when we allow ourselves this infrequent pleasure.     And if we didn’t feel so guilty about it afterwards we’d be on a sure winner there.      The clock is basically a parent; always telling us where we have to be, what time we have to be there, when we need to eat, when we’ve got to get up and a million other things that must be done as time goes on.     Even taking the batteries out won’t silence the ticking; it’ll just make us late for all these things we have to do.     I see now it’s time for a coffee break, that’s what the clock says anyway and who am I to argue so unless I’ve been harpooned to a remote island that time forgot I’ll see you in the New Year.        


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Best Wishes

With just under a week to go I am always amazed at how fast Christmas comes round each year.      It’s been super fast this time, speedy broadband fast and we seem to be following suit by doing things much faster too.     Christmas presents are bought and wrapped months in advance, children make out their lists in the summer, turkeys are ordered before they’ve been born and we’re all sort of living in the future.      So when Christmas Day finally arrives all the expectation and anticipation comes to an abrupt end because the future we’ve been waiting for is right here, it’s present.     All our hopes, worries and wishes for this time of year will soon come to a head and I’m guessing there’s lots of wishing going on right now. 

Wishing is the essence of living in the future.      Our wishes are always one step ahead of us, they are future bound and dwell in the realm of possibility, after all anything’s possible right?      Can you imagine what life would be like without possibility?     It’s impossible to imagine because we continually live in that space, always planning and preparing, expecting and supposing.     We are authors of our own future, writing and rewriting the chapters as we go along.    So I’m wondering then what happens when our wish comes true; when the possibility becomes a reality.

“There are two tragedies in life.
One is not to get your heart’s desire.
The other is to get it”.            (1)

Not to sound like a spoilsport (so close to Christmas) but I’m inclined to think that a wish which comes true loses its magic and it happens precisely at the point when it stops being a wish, the point when we've got what we wished for.    Although our wish may have come true at the same time we lose our reason for wishing.       The wish disappears and perhaps with it a sense of meaning too that it inherently held.     While a wish remains a wish it serves an important function; keeping the dream alive so to speak.      And we invest so much of ourselves in our wishes, they are not only what we want but who we are, so much so that when our wish comes true we lose a small part of ourselves in getting what we want.    I must just say here though I’m not quite sure this theory really applies to kids as they genuinely seem overjoyed when their wishes come true!      For them the magic is the present in both senses of the word.     Their anticipation of the run up towards Christmas or a birthday reaches a crescendo of absolute joy when the event they’ve been wishing for finally arrives.    Going back to us complicated grownups however it seems the greater the anticipation of something the bigger the anti-climax afterwards.    Perhaps our happiness is the wish itself.    Perhaps we derive our fun from the anticipation of something.     

There’s no doubt how powerful anticipation can be.      It creates responses to things that haven’t even happened yet, it’s like time travel for feelings.    So quite often our anticipation of something is mismatched to what actually then happens and at times it can be a relief i.e. visit to the dentist being relatively painless, and then there are other times when it is a huge disappointment.     The latter is the sticky point of wishing and the downside of having too much anticipation.      It’s that old familiar experience where you’re really looking forward to an event thinking that it’s going to be brilliant and you’re going to have a fantastic time only to find that you don’t and you neither feel anywhere close to how you thought you would.    It’s difficult to understand what’s gone wrong in those situations especially when everything was in its place to be great.     And by the same mysterious token how often do we go into things with very little expectation or even enthusiasm and then find ourselves having the best time we could possibly have had.                 

I suppose you can’t always plan happiness it happens in between the plans and best of all when there are no plans.      In a sense that’s what wishes are, unfulfilled plans and whether they come true or not is slightly beside the point.     Looking out my window I see that my Christmas wish has already come true but it's okay I can live with that, though had better go now and plough the anti-climax off my drive.      


(1) George Bernard Shaw (1903)  Man and Superman.  

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tempting Fate

I was walking down my street the other day, there was no one around and it was very quiet.    The wind felt fresh yet gentle on my face, it didn’t have the same piercing cold attached to it that we’ve been so used to lately.    There was a stillness in the air as though all the houses I was passing were still asleep and it was the middle of the night, though it wasn’t.     Taking my time being in no particular hurry I swung my bag slightly to and fro and listened to the sound it made as it brushed against my boot while I walked.      Just then out of nowhere I suddenly felt really happy.     It was so acute as if a button had been pushed inside me to activate it.      I felt a wave of warmth and absolute certainty spread over my entire body like a thin sheet wrapping itself around me.     It was as though I could almost hold my whole life in my hands right there and then and look at it with a clarity you only get sometimes when you wake up in the morning and realise your dream was a dream.     The kind of clarity where reality doesn't get any sharper.      The feeling was beyond happiness, it was sensational.      And for those few seconds I can honestly say I didn’t have a single worry in the world.     

Before I could think about where this had all come from, the feeling had already vanished only to be replaced by something even more acute, panic.      Actually panic is putting it mildly, it was more like dread.      A sort of unjustified dread that didn't have a leg to stand on, after all I was only walking to the bus stop, yet it felt more palpable than the happiness which had preceded it.     And then I knew that it was the very happiness I had just experienced which had brought on this darker feeling, a feeling bordering on terror that was now running through my body like little currents of electricity shocking me one step after another.    The feeling being of course the fear of something going wrong when everything is going right.    

When things in our life are going well, exceptionally well, why do we then expect it to all go wrong?      In fact we’re so sure that things will go wrong we’ve even created disclaimers to soften the blow, so things like ‘it’s too good to be true’, ‘I don’t want to jinx it’, ‘touch wood’ and the worst of all beliefs that we don’t deserve it and therefore of course it won’t last.      When did being happy get so complicated?      Seems as though it should come with its own warning label; too much of this may cause prolonged anxiety...    If only it were just an expectation of things going wrong but it appears to be much more intrusive than that, more like an unshakeable feeling of something always being around the corner, something bad that is coming our way to ruin all that is good.      The fear of this happening is so great that we’ll do anything to camouflage our happiness; we’ll downplay it, dismiss it, keep it under wraps and generally not give ourselves permission to really enjoy it because enjoying it is the quickest way to wreck it.    

Trying to work out how we’ve reached this point is way past the scope of this little blog but having said that I can’t help but think that if we were to alter our thinking a little bit here and there though it may not necessarily change our fate it may however help reduce the worry of tempting it all the time.     

So how do we view happiness and sadness?      Are they at opposite ends of the spectrum?    Is it a bit like a game of two halves where there can be only one winner?      Or does the presence of one automatically mean the absence of the other?      I was thinking just now of a friend of mine who loves ice cream.      For dessert she always chooses three scoops, each a different flavour and as they begin to melt in the bowl beside each other, their colours start to run and the flavours mix together.      They no longer belong to their distinct labelled tubs, they have become something else.     I wonder if happiness and sadness aren’t that dissimilar whereby most of the time they run into each other, are mixed up and co-exist.      It’s not that surprising to find a lot of humour at funerals and a lot of sadness at weddings, loss and gain are two sides of the same coin.     Life presents them  to us together, we are the ones that have split them apart, and by doing so we short change our happiness and solidify our sadness.         

If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands (clap, clap) if you’re happy and you know it clap your hands (clap, clap), if you’re happy and you know it and you really want to show it if you’re happy and you know it clap your hands (clap, clap).   

Children hold all the wisdom!       As we were taught in primary school if you’re happy bask in it, clap those hands, eat lots of ice cream and rest assured that you can’t tempt fate as I think it's fair to say that fate in whatever way we choose to understand it is by its very definition inevitable and therefore incorruptible.     Happiness on the other hand is much more within our control, tempted?    



Sunday, December 05, 2010

Collective Shiver

I’ve never been more grateful for central heating as I have in the last week.    At times it’s really felt like a full time job trying to keep warm whilst continuing with everyday life albeit at a much much lower temperature.     While the entire country undergoes the big freeze and everywhere you look there’s snow or talk of it I can’t help but notice a few things around this time as we all try desperately to keep the cold out.      


Amidst the travel chaos, road dangers and school closures it’s hard to deny how utterly beautiful the landscape becomes under a thick blanket of snow.     It transforms ordinary neglected objects into striking shapes simply by hiding them beneath inches of itself and in doing so making them appear more attractive.      Looking at my garden earlier in the week I saw that the watering can, the railings of a gate, parked cars, and even wheelie bins all became worthy of a second glance when they were covered in snow.      It just makes everything look prettier by covering it up allowing only the outline to make it distinguishable.      And it leaves nothing out, it's so inclusive like that.      

We, on the other hand, seem to become indistinguishable in the snow, covered up in so many clothes it’s hard to tell sometimes who’s who.      Having said that I’ve felt a strange sort of camaraderie this week with my fellow frozen human beings as we all try to keep warm from head to toe.     With such a wide assortment of walking woollies all around me it became so obvious how in it we all are together; in the cold, in the ice, in the world.     In a time where there seems to be so many different ways of doing and saying things it feels nice for a while to all respond in one way, to all agree on one thing and to all be on the same page for a while.      It reminds me of when it rains and suddenly all the umbrellas open up together.      We are all part of the same existence, we are all made from the same stock.     We all need to keep warm and protected, to feel safe and secure, to be loved and cared for.    These requirements these human needs demonstrate the unity of mankind and the inherent commonalities between us.    Though our individual differences are vast and varied it is our similarities that highlight our connectedness the most.    

In cold weather like this I’ve seen people on the street smile at each other, strike up conversations more and generally be a bit more mindful of one another perhaps as a way of touching base and checking out with them that they're not alone in suffering the cold, that we're all cold.     And the cold is so bitter and penetrating that even with all the layering going on right now no one is impervious to its bite.      It makes me think how sensitive our bodies are and how fragile and vulnerable.       I think we all know this very well as we cover up mightily with clothes to keep the cold out and the warmth in.      Yet how much more do we do this with the internal fabric of our feelings as we frequently protect ourselves from the climate of our own emotional lives.      That seems to be the part of us that feels most at risk in any season and all year round.     When we walk indoors and the central heating wraps itself around our bodies we can take off the layers and thaw out a bit.      But the layers that are worn on the inside are harder to shake.      Guarding the heart is a full time job so we protect ourselves with coats of defences to keep us safe and intact.       Maybe that’s why this last week with the temperature plummeting further and further the cold has created a warmth between people because it’s plain to see for all of us that we need protection at the most basic physiological level and the more layers we wear the more obvious that becomes.      Our humanness is exposed not just for some of us but across the board and I think that this is what helps to bring us closer together and to connect more with those around us whether we know them or not.     

As I look outside now much of the snow has gone and although that's a relief it also feels a bit sad as though the adventure and danger of it all is over, and like travel companions we must return to our own separate countries of thought.    Do we continue to ignore each other on the train and revert back to driving fast again on the roads having lost the need to be careful?     We probably will but for a short time we were united in our shivers and that is worth remembering.     

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Head vs. Heart vs. Head vs. Heart vs. Head

Some decisions are very easy to make, others so effortless we don’t realise we’ve even made them and then there are those that tear us up inside, that throw everything into disarray and still feel impossible to resolve.     When it comes to making decisions in life there is never any let up we just have to keep doing it day in day out, not forgetting that old chestnut either about a non decision also being a decision.     So how do we make our decisions, what do we base them on and what makes some decisions easier/harder than others?      More importantly how do we know we’ve made the right one?     
We are so often told to listen to our heart and what it’s telling us when we’ve got an important decision to make.       This advice only ever seems to come from others; I don’t ever hear anyone say ‘listen to your head’!       We ourselves bring our heads into the mix, perhaps to balance things out a bit or feel reassured that there will be at least some logic in our decision if we’ve allowed ourselves to think about it rather than just feel it.          

Decisions based on feelings alone are often perceived to be irrational, unfounded and of course emotional.     We see it in films all the time when someone in an outburst of emotion about to do something is stopped by a thoughtful friend who urges them to calm down and think things through rationally before they do anything.     What is so special about rational decisions anyhow, I’m inclined to think that too much rationale is what clouds our decisions not clarifies them but then again I would say that being in the business of emotions so there’s my logic behind that thinking.     

Decisions have somehow become synonymous with parts of the body, some parts representing what we want to do (the heart) while others tell us what we ought to do (the head).      And then there are those decisions that have been made way before either head or heart has had a say, the gut decisions where we already know the outcome before any action has even taken place.      It’s commonly believed that decisions made based on our gut feeling are the right ones, they are the decisions that were meant to be made.      Although if something is meant to be then there’s really no decision at all.      So what tells us we’ve made the right decision?      Is it enough for it to just feel right?      Feelings, so rich with information and yet so imbued with ambiguity.      On the one hand they do provide an internal truth about ourselves and where we’re at in the world but on the other hand they can be terribly misleading when they want to be, not to mention inaccurate and at times anything but the truth.      If a person feels they are useless and worth less than nothing does that mean that they are?     Feelings, like decisions, need evidence to back them up so that how we feel on the inside collaborates with how the world is on the outside.      

Head vs. Heart?     A bit of both perhaps, they are lodgers in each others homes.      I know how I tend to make decisions, though every now and then there are some that come along where neither my head nor heart take the lead because it is inevitable what I must choose, the decision has chosen me.      Some decisions are unconditional, just looking at someone you love will tell you that.         

Sunday, November 21, 2010


“All of this has happened before, and it will all happen again”           (Peter Pan, Walt Disney Film 1953)

After a very blustery week of walking over leaf covered pavements I’ve decided that autumn is my favourite season.     Unlike spring and summer where things feel new, autumn is like a homecoming where we come back round again.     Suddenly it’s cold and dark, the trees are bare and the layers of clothes have doubled, Christmas is within sight and another year is almost over.      The planet has gone round full circle, according to clock time that is.     Lived time, where a minute can feel like fifty or an hour dreaming was really ten minutes, has no knowledge of dates and calendars.     Lived time does not come round again; it is irreplaceable, irrecoverable and irretraceable.     Not that that stops us from trying to do all three and who could blame us, being human is so vast and fast that if there is ever an invention to freeze time now and then so as to catch up a bit I’m sure we’ll all be putting it on our wish lists.       

Obviously it is autumn again but only in terms of the date.     The seasons come and go over and over but they are never the same as their predecessors, no two autumns or springs even come close to each other; they return but they do not repeat.   Every second of time, everything that we say or do, every thought or feeling we have is completely unique and new, it is our memory that joins the dots and gives our experience cohesive meaning.     The first time we experience something will also be the last time we experience it in that way, you can’t repeat originality as so many artists painfully know.   

But you can attempt to recreate a repeat as Harold Ramis tried to do very nicely in the 1993 film ‘Groundhog Day’.       As Bill Murray wakes up to the same day everyday where the exact same events take place in the same way that they did the day before although it’s not really the day before because it’s the same day being repeated....well you know what I mean!    What’s interesting is that the only thing that tells us repetition has taken place is the fact that Bill Murray is the one person that is not repeating himself.     For him time has moved on although he’s stuck in the same day having to live it again and again.      The film is not about repetition at all it is about quite the opposite, about learning new things and developing a new way of being made possible only through reliving it.     Is this not the formula for experience?      Even repetitive patterns are never repeated in the exact same way, the gist may be similar but the variables always vary.     As I write this post I am concurrently revisiting an old essay I once wrote about ‘reliving experiences’.     Flicking through its pages now I’m wondering if I were to rehash my old words for this blog would I be repeating myself or recycling?!      Going back to things is not the same as repeating them because something will always be different, time will make sure of that.     It is not Christmas again or ones birthday again, it is a new and different event each time.     

It has gotten dark outside as I’ve been writing this and I hadn’t noticed until now that I stopped to look, a bit like autumn really.      What is it about autumn, it’s rife with nostalgia.                 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sometimes someone else just says it better

However vast the ‘outer space’ may be, yet with all its side real distances it hardly bears comparison with the dimensions, with the depth dimensions of our inner being, which does not even need the spaciousness of the universe to be within itself almost unfathomable, Thus if the dead if those who are to come, need an abode, what refuge could be more agreeable and appointed for them than this imaginary space?

Raymond Pettibon

What moves me is the irregular form – the flawed words and stubborn sounds....that affect us whenever we try and say something that is important to us.

John Ashbery

The mower stalled twice: kneeling, I found
A Hedgehog jammed up against the blades, Killed.
It had been in the long grass.
I had seen it before, and even fed it once.
Now I had mauled its unobtrusive world unmendably.
Burial was no help.
Next morning I got up and it did not.
The first day after a death, the new absence is always the same:
We should be careful of each other, we should be kind while there is still time.

Philip Larkin

My mother never forgave my father
for killing himself,
especially at such an awkward time
and in a public park,
that spring
when I was waiting to be born.
She locked his name
in her deepest cabinet
and would not let him out,
though I could hear him thumping.
When I came down from the attic
with the pastel portrait in my hand
of a long-lipped stranger
with a brave moustache
and deep brown level eyes,
she ripped it into shreds
without a single word
and slapped me hard.
In my sixty-fourth year
I can feel my cheek
still burning

Stanley Kunitz

I wander’d lonely as a cloud
That floats on high over vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd
A host of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine and twinkle on the milky way,
They stretch’d in never-ending line along the margin of the bay;
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they out-did the sparkling waves in glee,
A poet could not but be gay
In such a jocund company.
I gazed...and gazed...but little thought what wealth the show to me had brought.
For often, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye which is the bliss of solitude,
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

William Wordsworth

Go deeper than love, for the soul has greater depths.
Love is like the grass, but the heart is deep wild rock, molten, yet dense and permanent.
Go down to your deep old heart, and lose sight of yourself.   And lose sight of me whom you turbulently loved.
Let us lose sight of ourselves and break the mirrors.
For the fierce curve of our lives is moving again to the depths, out of sight, in the deep living heart.

D H Lawrence

The gunfire around us makes it hard to hear.   But the human voice is different from other sounds.    It can be heard over noises that bury everything else.    
Even when it’s not shouting.    Even if it’s just a whisper.    Even the lowest whisper can be heard over armies....when it’s telling the truth.

The Interpreter (2005).     Universal Pictures.   

You got a fast car
I want a ticket to anywhere
Maybe we make a deal
Maybe together we can get somewhere
Anyplace is better
Starting from zero got nothing to lose
Maybe we’ll make something
But me myself I got nothing to prove
You got a fast car
And I got a plan to get us out of here
I been working at the convenience store
Managed to save just a little bit of money
We won’t have to drive too far
Just ‘cross the border and into the city
You and I can both get jobs
And finally see what it means to be living

You see my old man’s got a problem
He live with the bottle that’s the way it is
He says his body’s too old for working
I say his body’s too young to look like this
My mamma went off and left him
She wanted more from life than he could give
I said somebody’s got to take care of him
So I quit school and that’s what I did

You got a fast car
But is it fast enough so we can fly away
We gotta make a decision
We leave tonight or live and die this way

I remember we were driving driving in your car
The speed so fast I felt like I was drunk
City lights lay out before us
And your arm felt nice wrapped ‘round my shoulder
And I had a feeling that I belonged
And I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone....

Tracy Chapman    

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Fear of Failure (or is it success)?

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.   Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.    It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.   We ask ourselves Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?    Actually, who are you not to be?    You are a child of God.   Your playing small does not serve the world.   There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.   We are all meant to shine, as children do.   We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.    It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.    And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.   As we’re liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others”            (1)   

Commonly mistaken to be the words of Nelson Mandela, although they easily could be, I remember that the first time I saw this quote it scared me.     Do we really do this I thought?     Do we dim down our potential because we’re afraid of it?     Yes, I think sometimes we really do.    Success, achievements and happiness have their own problems and in some ways can be harder to live with than their polar opposites because they immediately provide us with something to lose.   This is of course the trade off, the price we must pay to love and form attachments in this world, something we just can’t help but do.   When we become bearers of things precious to us we become bodyguards of them as well, always watching and waiting for the slightest sign of trouble.    And what could be more fruitful than realising our potential and in turn more costly to fall short of it.         

So if our success (whatever that may be for each of us) has its disadvantages, do our failures have advantages?      Is our fear of failure another way of presenting our fear of success and if so what could we possibly gain from not wanting to succeed?     Quite a lot actually.      Failing at something is painful but it does however offer a degree of certainty because then we know one way or the other where we stand in relation to it.     It provides us with a sense of security, albeit a false one, because we no longer have to tolerate the ambivalence of possibility and uncertainty, both of which are imbued with that dangerous ingredient called hope.     

Hope” says the Architect the creator of the Matrix in the film ‘The Matrix Reloaded’, “It is the quintessential human delusion, simultaneously the source of your greatest strength and your greatest weakness”.    (2)  

He may have a small point here although I think it’s the wrong way round; we would be more delusional if we didn’t hope.      For the cynic however, hope is the scariest thing of all since it dares to offer an alternative to an already established world view.    It threatens to rock the boat and make some new waves in the process.    If given free rein hope can make anything seem possible and that is what makes success so terrifying.     Success changes our narrative about ourselves and it changes us.     A man who has spent his whole adult life living with the compulsion of having to check whether or not he has locked the patio door ten times a night even though he’s never unlocked it will experience himself very differently if one morning he wakes up and realises the compulsion is gone.   Who would he be then?     How would he assimilate his new found freedom (and identity) into a lifetime of believing he was made up a certain way and that’s just how it was?      The terror of not being the person we have always been (a sort of death in itself) is what hinders us the most from choosing to live a different way of life as that would mean leaving behind everything we’ve grown to know even if unhelpful it is none the less very very familiar.     

The fear of failure and the fear of success are one and the same; each is inherent in the other.     It is the fear element that seems to be the common felon, the fear of being too good or not good enough.     I wonder sometimes what would happen if like the patio checking man we all wake up one morning and discover that we’re unafraid to live out what we couldn’t dream of doing before, how would it be if we could just do anything without fear or anxiety....     If this were really possible then I think a life without any fear would be the most frightening thing of all.      Maybe it’s not about eradicating our fears, maybe it’s about finding ways of living in the face of them and as that famous self help book goes maybe we should just,      

“Feel the fear and do it anyway”.      (3) 


(1) Marianne Williamson (1992) A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles".    Harper Collins.     Chapter 7, section 3.

(2) The Matrix Reloaded (2003).   Directed by Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski.    

(3) Susan Jeffers (1988) Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway.     Ballantine Books.