Why Are We So Afraid to Strike Out on Our Own?
Looking over an old journal entry about planning a talk to a local club, I see that I was pondering the reasons why there is often fear and hesitation about striking out on one’s own, to see the world in a very free-form and solo way. I narrowed things down to the three ongoing questions which a human being is always trying to solve – whether at home or away.
- 1. How can I meet my needs?
- 2. How do I fit into this social situation?
- 3. What is to become of me?
In familiar surroundings, these questions don’t come into play because our routines are established, our social order is understood, and that thorny “ultimate destiny” question doesn’t pop up until major change occurs.
Things Change on the Road
But in travel, any uncertainty is likely to set off all three questions clanging at the same time. Many people are not accustomed to the kind of inner analysis that would identify their new heightened level of anxiety, so they tend to blame their uneasiness upon travel itself and not on the fact that they don’t like to be thrown into an undefined social situation. Or the classic situtation where everyone else has a partner, or friend, as on a cruise with mostly couples, when you’re solo. So, you simply don’t go unless someone comes with you.
Traveling as I do, frequently, causes all three questions to constantly need answering, every single day, so I’ve had gain a level of self-confidence about taking care of that business. The “Inner Self”, which is the part of you who becomes anxious about each equation, must trust the “Outer Self” to take care of its ongoing needs; so that you can settle into the adventure and not worry about survival. This requires a deeper knowledge of one’s own self, and because of this, the insecurity of travel is a wonderful school for personal development.
So, routinely leaving your comfort zone gives you a chance to learn, excel, and become comfortable with your own abilities. It’s easier to become acquainted with yourself when that’s all you have to count upon. A sheltered life won’t get you very far in the maturity department.
Now, About those Questions…
But now that I’ve been at home for a long period of time, when those three vital questions retreat to the background, I find that they morph into referring to the Inner Life. I still want to know the answer to those three questions, but they take on a deeper, spiritual meaning that keeps me constantly pondering and evaluating.
- 1. How can I meet the needs of my soul? Am I growing? Am I happy?
- 2. How am I doing as a member of Humanity? Am I contributing?
- 3. What shall become of me? What is my ultimate destiny?
It appears that a human being can only be at ease and happy if they have some solution at hand, moment by moment, to these three simple little questions. Spiritually, as well as Practically.
We can’t escape them simply by staying home. They’re still awfully good questions, worthy of an answer.