A note I made from an email I received maybe a year ago:
“To be mean seems exhausting.”Jedidiah Jenkins
(I just went and looked him up, because I didn’t know who he was/who I was quoting, and he seems pretty neat. His TEDx talk was interesting to listen to.)
“Mean” is rooted in fear, and fear is exhausting. To be on guard all the time uses a lot of energy which takes a lot of energy away from other things you could be doing or thinking or feeling.
What could you offer the world if you weren’t afraid?
Fear (including: insecurity, worry, feeling inadequate or inferior) is on a list of things that we don’t necessarily realize is weighing us down. Choices about food, sleep, movement, and exercise can yield suboptimal results and leave us feeling tired when we otherwise wouldn’t. Choices surrounding vulnerability and boundaries are on the same list, and not necessarily in the way we think.
Putting up walls and trying to be impermeable to vulnerability is living in fear (of being vulnerable, and of what negative consequence you see to that), and, as mentioned, that’s exhausting. It’s the difference between walking down the street and walking down the street with your keys in your fist glancing over your shoulder every few seconds.
How can you give yourself more energy, more freedom to explore and to love and to find joy by working through that fear?
Pick one thing. What’s a thing you’re just tired of being afraid of? Is it something you can push through, or do you need help? If you need help, where can you get it?
Do it! Lift the weight! It’s scary, but once you move one, many of the rest seem less daunting.
And maybe in the process, the world will be a little less mean—because you are less mean or because you no longer allow others to be mean. Either way, it’s win-win.