Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Latest Column from Darcy Mellsop

Since my last column, I’ve read about further attacks. One victim being a young lady
putting out the rubbish late at night in Newtown, Wellington. She commented "...If anything it's a warning to young girls: Don't go out alone in the dark at all."
We all know that the rules change when night comes. Things are different, and with the darkness, there is a natural fear that goes with it. Of course, I’m not going to argue for a moment that this fear is misplaced – for it is not. I, as we all do, know that it is not misplaced.
But let me ask, do we live in more fear than we should? And if so, what can we do about this? Obviously simply thinking “I won’t fear it any more” won’t work, as that is not a corrective action, it has no real benefit.
So what can we do about this? I’ve a saying that I use to challenge myself when I need to: Run into the darkness. What does that mean? Imagine standing in a silky green field, grass glimmering in the sun, and a warm breeze is the foundation for all your senses being so awake. But next to you just away from you - flat and straight cutting a straight edge across the grassy plain is a forest, dark and twisted and cold - in there only hate and fear and suffering.
So you think that you won't go in there, but guess what, look where you are standing and what you are experiencing. You are experiencing those feelings and you are not in the forest. So really, where does the forest end and your fears start? Not at the edge. No. Where you are now. The only way to truly subside fear is to face up to it. This can free us from a world of fear – how often do
we spend so much time fearing something that doesn’t happen? And if it does happen, we know that we’ll freeze because we don’t have the tools to deal with it - which is the likely reason why we fear it in the first place. Freeing ourselves from fear, gives us confidence. Exuding confidence, importantly, reduces the likelihood that we will be the targets of street violence – it reduces the balance of probability. Sounds good right? You have to be prepared to venture into the forest.
Whatever your fear is, whether it is to do with personal safety for yourself or family or something else, do something about it: run into the darkness.
Hey, if someone wants to bowl some cricket balls at me, please contact me, I’m scared silly of cricket balls and it would be good to get that sorted. The faster the bowler the better. Thanks.

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