Written by Otaku Apologist
I give you a thought exercise. Imagine yourself as a ghost living through its memories of life. You are here to learn how you died. Once you do, you can pass on.
At the bottom of all fears is death. When you do not fear it, you are safest from it. Instead of being paralyzed by what you cannot control, you focus attention and effort on what you can. Living without fear is like driving a car perfectly sober.
Conceptualizing death and life as separate is a cause for great anxiety. The mixture of fears you wrestle with coalesce into a cocktail of horrors. You fear separation from friends and family, leaving unfinished business behind, combined with fear of the unknown, you fret over innumerable uncontrollable things.
But you are already dead. You are one with death. All the things you feared already happened, you are re-living those memories as a ghost. Your friends left you, your parents are buried, your debts defaulted, you have nothing. But as the light of your mind hasn’t fizzled out yet, you are left with an exciting mystery.
Go on. Explore what happened. Were you killed by that weird neighbor next door you’ve been avoiding? Say “yes” to the awkward guy who asked you on a date. Don’t be afraid to go to the movie theater where a mass shooting once happened – go there with friends, get them killed as well.
You will take some actual risks and see what happens, rather than speculate endlessly what might. Most of the time, absolutely nothing happens. You have to physically experience this, to calibrate your emotions to function properly.
There’s nothing more mentally unhealthy than constantly avoiding danger and discomfort – you need experiences, both good and bad, in order to grow into a wholesome person. Experiencing chaotic outcomes is important, because your intuition will calibrate to distinguish between real risks and mere fears.
To really live, you want to rid yourself of useless fear. Avoiding rejection is the most useless of them all.