The Scariest Thing About Falling
The scariest thing about falling isn’t the likelihood of getting hurt.
It isn’t the scrapes and bruises you might suffer. The scariest part about falling is the lack of control. All of sudden, you are no longer in charge, and whatever happens from here on in can’t be altered by anything you do. And I think it’s this feeling of having no control that scares us more than anything.
If the last year or so has shown us anything at all, it’s that his fear is rampant, It manipulates out behaviours every day, in every situation. People are afraid to leave their homes due to this fear, are afraid to get vaccinated due to this fear, are afraid to trust anything at all due to this fear. It’s become more and more evident as the months roll on that people will actively avoid doing the right thing if it means giving up this sense of control. We really do not enjoy trusting anything or anyone else with our locus of control. This causes a lot of us to become resentful, conspiratorial and ultimately, difficult to be around.
The ironic part is that life is, to a large degree, uncontrollable. You cannot control when/if you get sick, how and when you will die, the opinions and behaviours of other people etc. The list goes on ad infinitum. There is no way to be in total control, yet we crave total control. We live in a constant state of conflict within ourselves. We are uncomfortable because we want to be in control of a world that is uncontrollable.
Leaving go of this desire to be control is challenging. It is not easy, nor does it necessarily feel like a good idea. However, when we release this compulsion to be in control of everything, we also release a lot of the stress and anxiety that comes with it.
If you no longer demand to be in control of uncontrollable things, you won’t be so heavily affected when these things happen. In a sense, this is much the same as learning to stop worrying about things you cannot control. All you are doing is adding distress to your life. No matter what you do, you won’t be able to change the outcome, so what really is the point in worrying about things that are a) outside of your control and b) may not actually ever happen.
When I was very young I worried constantly about the world ending – so much so that I couldn’t sleep properly, and would be stressed and frustrated all of the time. However, no matter how much worrying I did, I could never affect whether the world would end or not. It was simply out of my hands.
And this idea rings through for many aspects of our lives. Yes, we can behave in certain ways to reduce the risks of getting some illness, or dying in certain ways (For example, if you never go skiing you probably won’t die in a skiing accident) but we can never be in total control, so it is important that we release our desire to be in control.
All it does is add unnecessary stress to our lives. I imagine you already have enough of that without needing to any more.
Accept that you cannot be in control of everything. Take responsibility for what you can control, and stop worrying about things you will never be able to change.
The scariest thing about falling is that you aren’t in control, but you’re falling whether you accept it or not.