The other morning, on her Facebook wall, a friend of mine posted the following quote from Marie Curie.
“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”
This quote has been with me for a few days. I wonder if Marie Curie was a spiritual person?
What do we have to fear? Snakes? Air travel? Tornados? Earthquakes? Loss of a spouse/partner? Loss of income?
Right this moment, I am afraid of none of these things.
As I look at the sentence, does the sentiment mean we’d be better off understanding the things/situations in our life, or does it mean we are to understand the fear? Did Dr Curie mean that if we understood where our fears originated, we could then understand the “why” of the fear, and therefore adapt better? Or did she just mean exploration and investigation are good things?
How do we overcome fear? By facing the fear, or by understanding what causes the fear? Perhaps a little of both? Maybe it is just magic? Maybe it is just faith? Maybe it is the mind being bored and looking for something new, whether it is something else to fear or something new to love? Maybe fear gets smothered with other thoughts and just ceases to exist.
As I sit and write this, I realize there are very few things I’m fearful of in general – rattlesnakes, hitting a patch of ice while driving and sliding off a cliff – never to be found, suddenly being naked in public, offending someone unintentionally and never knowing it (and yes that means I really am not afraid of intentionally offending someone). But right this moment, there are no rattlesnakes to be concerned with here in Snohomish. I’m not planning to drive anywhere that there might be ice on the road. I’m sitting alone in my office, so if I were suddenly naked, it would not be a big deal (although I am seriously considering closing the curtains just in case). Not worried about developing cancer or heart disease. Not worried about finances. Not fearful of earthquakes or tornados. Nope, nothing to fear in this moment.
I’m just beginning to wonder if what Marie Curie really was referring to is what a significant waste of my time and energy fear, in and of itself, really is.
So here is to new experiences, new adventures, new attitudes and being fearless in life!