I once thought how we can walk on a sidewalk without worrying about falling over, yet if that sidewalk itself were a mile high, we’d teeter and our legs would become shaky. We’d find ourselves slowing down, maybe even swerving toward the edge, or worst, falling off.
As a child I played hopscotch and hopped on one leg from one square to the next to pick up a pebble, all without tipping over. We all did it quickly! That same hopscotch suspended thousands of feet in the air would weaken our knees and stop us from hopping. What’s different?
The factor is fear. The perception is we might take a tumble. Of course, fear serves as a useful alarm to help us avoid real danger. But in the absence of any danger, fear becomes imagining it, taking away balance and confidence. Any surety of oneself is gone. No fun can be had. Judgment is impaired, and the world looks and feels shaky. In reality, it is the same world, same gravity, same sidewalk, and same hopscotch.
This shows how our imagination can determine whether we are able to navigate reality with ease and success. Do you imagine the worst? How does it make you imbalanced?
After all, worrying is nothing but fantasizing about awful things that aren’t actually happening.
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