Nicky's Blog

Fear Is The Mind-Killer

There's a mantra in Frank Herbert's Dune that follows the Bene Gesserit teaching, Fear Is The Mind-Killer. It goes:

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

It's been popping up in my head the last couple of days as I watch myself resist leaving my new, comfortable, status quo. When I reflected on why I was doing this, the immediate suggestion was laziness. I was a fat, lazy slob, who would prefer sitting on his backside to getting up and going gym, or opening the MacBook and writing.

But that's just masochism. That's just me making myself emotionally feel bad to feed my depression and in that respect, that status quo.

The truth I'm stuck to the ground by fear. Not necessarily by the activity itself, or the prospect of failure, at least not totally. It's the vulnerability of putting myself out there, of trying.

Not caring when I wake up, or what I eat, or how much exercise I do, etc etc, all contributes to a certain level of comfort. Who cares if I haven't journaled today? or meditated? If I don't no-one else will, and therefore there's no pressure at all.

The problem is I do care, and more importantly my body cares. It cares when I mess too much with my sleep, or my food, or my exercises. If I don't journal, meditate, yoga, or take care of the mental health aspect, the corresponding tiredness exhausts my body. The lack of exercise makes most things harder; by my Apple Watch metrics, the last month of inactivity has undone about eight months worth of cardio work.

There's always a price to pay for comfort, and comfort at the cost of living is hollow at best.

This isn't to say I've done nothing. The trendiness have started to improve - time spent socialising and reading in particular (although not at the same time). I have put more effort into walking more, and did some yoga this week. It's not a complete wash.

But there were times I made active decisions not to go the gym because 'I can go tomorrow', and then repeated the same process. Or last night, when I could have cooked a healthier meal, but ended up ordering pizza. Or every time I've tried to look at my task system, because the amount of things I'm missing or choosing to ignore is starting to mount up, including ordering my pills which I managed just in time.

Fear is the mind-killer. It is the little-death that will bring my end sooner than I would like. I must face my fear if I am to improve my health and well being, for me and my family.

I must keep moving forwards, slowly but surely, else I'll end up stationary, watching my world crumble around me.

And now, I must wake up my wife, and begin the day anew.

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