Can you have fear without love?
Wow, I loved this Latham. I chuckled at the similarity of our positions. My friends all talk about investments and salaries and bonuses and alcohol and I often feel I can’t connect with them anymore. It scares me.
“I’m afraid of being rejected, of having this friend who I once related to crush my budding beautiful moment through a thoughtless comment that doesn’t really mean anything to him but means everything to me.” This hit hard. I’ve had friends make comments in passing about my path that had meant no harm but really hurt.
I thought of writing a similar essay. How fear is at the core. Of everything. How, if I pay attention, I can hear the seed of fear in people’s words.
Latham, thank you for this. I think it's my favorite piece so far. I've been integrating this perspective too, though in specific areas of my life right now. I love how you opened it up for me to include the creative process, the tough conversations, the superficial ones -- which resonated tremendously! I (try to) start every morning with a little mantra "I am love, I am love, I am love; please help me perceive fear through the lens of love". I can say you've just helped me expand that lens.
(And just have to say, apart from resonating with the topic here, I loved the writing craft as much. Beautiful work all around.)
I fear that if I try to say too much about this I'll lose the preciousness of the mood it's left me with. So I think I won't. Thank you Latham.
Awesome. There’s a great quote in Ogilvy on Advertising where he says this:
‘The copywriter lives with fear. Will he have a big idea before Tuesday morning? Will the client buy it? Will it get a high test Will it sell the product? I have never sat down to write an advertisement without thinking THIS TIME I AM GOING TO FAIL.’
Obviously you can swap out copywriter for any creative.
Personally, every time I sit down to write something I always think I can’t possibly do it. I have no ideas, I don’t know what to write, and I can’t come up with anything ‘good’.
This really resonated with me, Latham. Thanks.
Great exposition of the parts of us that show up in public and private, all expressing needs and...yes...fears. This connection between love and fear is profound. We don't get fearful about things/people/situations we don't care about. So, there's probably a continuum here, with love being the scariest place to be! Thanks for these insights!
Latham, your perception of the coffee shop conversation is spot on. So much of what we see (especially online) is a response to fear. The subtle dismissals, the flexes, the filtered transmissions -- all are ways to deal (or -- avoid dealing) with a lingering sense of fear most us have. “Do I fit in?” “Am I doing this right?” “If I’m not self-actualized, they can’t be either!”
Great post all around.
I think the mission that we humans have on this Earth is to learn how to live with fear, how to face it and simply acknowledging it's there, how to negotiate with it. But it doesn't have to be a confrontational approach; I see it more as a collaboration, something that, if you pull the right strings, will help greatly in our life paths. Your parallel with love is something I've never thought about, and, now that I do, it really resonates. We love and care for the things we fear about. This is so perfectly put: "And the things I’m not scared of aren’t me being brave. They just don’t mean as much to me." Awesome and enlightening piece, Latham. Thank you.
So our fears are always about losing something that we love. It could be our own physical security or that of our family. Or our sense of self worth. The more I think about it the more it makes sense. I bet many (although probably not all) of our fears will dissolve once we realise that we should not care that much about that we are so afraid of losing.
This resonated so deeply, and helped me grapple with a bout of fear that's come up on my creative journey in recent weeks. Thank you!
I personally see fear in differing degrees. “Incoming” has a different ring. Paranoia and fear may save your life but the fear of failure is a self esteem issue. I say write what you like. You may be surprised by the number of people that take an interest.
This is so honest and awesome. I am often in similar spaces, pinging between the big and wonderful perspective and then back to the limited fearful view, and on, in a cycle. I’ve learned to recognize it now, so I can ride through it with acceptance, but it’s still an acceptance of discomfort.
“I realized fear doesn’t come out of nowhere. When I got deeply, existentially scared, I saw what I loved.” This landed just as I’m writing about something I fear so deeply I can barely look at the page. Now I’m considering all the words I’ve written that are about love. What a gift this essay was to me today. Thank you, Latham.