Irrational fears are a side effect of big dreams.

Of all the people whose words have left an impression on my mind, I doubt that you would guess that I am about to write about a lesson learned from R Kelly. Yes, I said it. R Kelly taught me something. Lets push aside the mountain of disgust that I’m sure we all share for his shameful behavior in the past, and I shall explain. R Kelly is renowned for his title as the King of RnB, not just for his own songs, but also for those which he wrote for other artists including Michael Jackson. (Try not to make connections between the two, that is NOT the point of this post today). I remember watching an interview with RK back in the day, a very long time ago, where the interviewer asked him whether he ever regretted giving his songs to other people, especially when they became number ones or very successful, and whether he found it hard to not be able to bask in the glory of the success.

His response was very interesting. He said that he couldn’t feel resentment, because that would be a manifestation of the fear that he wouldn’t be able to make another, equally successful song in the future for himself.

Now at the time, that struck me as kindof deep. He could have just said some generic answer like “nah man, it’s all bless, I’m happy for my homeboys”, but instead he left me with this fresh perspective about opportunity. Regret is the fear that something you missed in the past will never come back around in the future. And with regret comes his wifey resentment. This little couple stop you from living in the moment and make you chew over “what ifs” and imaginary scenarios, which distract you from getting back on track and working to get to where you want to be.

Furthermore, I thought it was interesting that RK identified regret as a fear. Regret is like a fear stuck in time, fear that your actions in the past will dictate your future, and that you will not have control over them. And fear is what paralyzes us most when it comes to progressing in our lives, taking leaps of faith and making big decisions.

The bigger our dreams are, or the more we hope for something, the stronger and more irrational our fears can be. If you are content with a small-scale lifestyle, with the same surroundings and little need for risk, your fears will be restricted to what is around you, and to a large extent are identifiable. But when you dream out of your comfort zone the risks and fears extend beyond the horizon of what you can conceive. I suffer sometimes from these irrational fears. I will share some of my smaller ones with you. It might sound ridiculous, but I get serious paranoia about leaving my hair straighteners on, or leaving the door to the apartment unlocked. This has never happened to me yet, but for some reason, when I am out, enjoying myself with friends, I will suddenly get this thought in my head and I wont be comforted until I have either rang someone at home to check it out, or arrived myself to make sure everything is ok. My friends think that I am a nutter because it happens so frequently, but I am like that with many things, many of them a lot more serious but I use these to illustrate the point.

I think it comes from a mixture of feeling really secure in some things, and feeling really insecure in others. I want to control everything to try and make sure that nothing bad happens because I feel like there is so much opportunity in the world, and I never want to do something stupid that could limit the opportunities in my life somehow. If I burn the house down with my straighteners then I will have to spend all of my wages to fix everything, and I will feel terrible with my friends that I live with. Similarly if I leave the door unlocked. Logic tells me that I will have less freedom and I will be restricted by guilt and money. There are numerous other cases like that, but what I think about with the R Kelly quote is that you can’t control everything, and you need to just let go of your fears, because there is always potential, there is always another chance, not just a second chance, but infinite ones, so you don’t need to worry. If you learn to let go of things you can be more peaceful and open your hands to a shower of opportunity. I have a friend who used to have an irrational fear about her house burning down as a result of an electrical fire in her house, so before going to college she would take photos of all the unplugged electrical items in her room so that she could reassure herself when she was in class that she had’t left anything on or in the socket. She was living the perfect live, and was a big dreamer, but at the back of her mind she was forever fearing the worst.

I’m not sure if everyone will understand this post. It is quite personal, and to some people it might sound a bit crazy, but the essence is that we should be conscious of those stifling feelings that hold you back, and keep you in an imaginary past or a hypothetical future, and really live and appreciate the blessing in the moment. Being scared is a complete waste of energy, as it relates to something that we cannot control. You have to work hard to be conscious of the limits that you put around yourself, and practice being happy, and letting the world rotate, whilst you do the best you can to make the most of it (even if it means leaving your hair curly so that you don’t have to worry about burning the house down).

Peace love blessings and besitos to all, have a nice day.

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About Imani Amrani

Algerian Brit, with some Latina in me (I once ate an arepa). Freelance journalist. This blog is my double bed that I don't have to share, where I can take all of the duvet and spread myself out. Find older blog posts at https://theshakirahunter.wordpress.com In the meantime find 140-character nuggets from me at https://twitter.com/ImaniAmrani

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