I've grown weary of all the negativity and cynicism coming at me, directly and indirectly, from every direction. Partly because, until recently, a lot of it came from myself. I always told myself I was being realistic, not pessimistic. What do I mean by "negativity and cynicism?" I state it very broadly because in different ways, they affected almost every aspect of my life. I think that my pessimistic outlook on life, judgment of other people, putting down other people, ideas, and ways of thinking, and overall negativity all had some common denominator.

Seeing all the "bad" in the world around me only reinforced this. Watching the daily news and hearing about recent occurrences of murder and rape, having things stolen from me, and seeing such hatred and greed in the world helped me to form my opinion that this world is nothing but shit. I guess it was safe for me to feel this way, thinking that nothing that I did with my life would matter anyway in such a horrible world. Of course, every now and then I would see something beautiful, or witness some act of kindness, that would make me think "hey, the world is a great place" for a day or two... but it was only a matter of time before I'd go back to my previous way of thinking. I'd crawl back into my safe little shell, cutting myself off in a way from all true emotion. Life sucks, and there's nothing I can do about it, I'd think.

Of course, I'd also stopped believing in true love and God about the same time I stopped believing in Santa Claus. No more fairy tales for me. I wasn't going to get duped by any anyone. I didn't believe, and not because I truly didn't believe in my heart...

Then something happened, through a series of events, one really intense experience in particular (we'll save that story for another node), and I realized what that common denominator was... fear. Most of the reasons I'd given myself for a lot of the things I've done (or not done), and things I did or did not believe, were just conscious rationalizations that were covering up that fear. I didn't have faith in anything, not even myself, because I was scared to believe, scared of being let down, scared of being hurt. I wasn't even searching wholeheartedly for my own happiness because I was thought I'd never find it. Now, I'd rather live the rest of my life being hurt and let down again and again than giving up the chance to find my true heart's longing... whether it be God, love, happiness, peace, whatever.

So, my point is this (yes there is a point!)- the next time you find yourself being very angry for no apparent reason, judgmental, cynical, or pessimistic, ask yourself this question: "What am I so scared of?"

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