Right before I start I would like to point out that most of my knowledge on any subjects posted here are simply my opinions. I am not formally educated on any subjects, my knowledge comes from reading books, listening to podcasts and lectures by people far more experienced than I am.
I've been thinking about this for the last while now, admittedly it started off simply by listening to the King Of Kings series on Dan Carlin's Hardcore History podcast. Phobos, the personification of fear in ancient Greek mythology. They said it ruled the battlefield, and understandably so. Dan spoke about the levels of fear the ancient solider must have faced, how it would take everything they had not to run away knowing what was going to happen. The fear I'm going into is not nearly on this level, but fear is fear and fear still exists in all of our lives.
Phobos. I write this now as one who understands fear deeply, generally from the receiving end. Throughout my life I've unfortunately given in to fear many times, more than I'd like to admit. There was a time when fear ruled me and more often than not, I'd be it's slave. Fear took many forms for me, though it seems change was its number one form. There was nothing that scared me more, I was happy in my little bubble, working my safe job, with my safe routine, that had the safe benefits and life became a life of existing and not so much living. If there was one thing that got me over the fear of change, it was having absolutely no choice in the matter. When disease strikes loved ones, when jobs have to be left and life swirls out of control, change is everywhere and despite the hardships, I'm better off for it. I'm not "over" fear, but I've slowly learned to understand and control it... Though Phobos still swoops in on my mental battlefield and dominates me time to time, once again making me feel as a slave.
I'm not going to pretend like I'm the master at confronting fear, I'm writing this from a mind space where it had once again won me over not long ago. I write this because I know many others experience the same issues and that maybe, just maybe this will help someone else confront that fear. I've learned the greatest obstacle in life can often be of our own creations. Our shadow can fabricate and exaggerate our fears, making them greater than they actually are. This isn't all negative though, we need shadow in order to feel the warmth of light. We can’t have one and not have the other, a life of pure happiness isn’t possible. The bad times allow us to appreciate the good times, adversity makes us stronger, and conquering our fears can make us feel better about ourselves in leaps and bounds. The idea isn’t to pretend as if Phobos doesn’t exist, but to understand it, and overcome it.
2018 was a year of great progress for me, especially in the department of conquering my fears. Be it through nearly 40 photoshoots, the wild interactions and socializing I had to do to further my photography and most notably, traveling for the first and second times which includes a solo trip, I definitely rose up and defied Phobos. One doesn’t overcome fear in one day, maybe not even in a lifetime, but each little decision we make over the course of our lives will have impact on how we deal with these feelings. The more we are able to defy it rather than accept defeat, the more we can continue life under our own terms, with confidence and love for ourselves, while embracing the humility that we are in fact human and no one goes through this life without encountering Phobos. We are all stronger than we think, and if we do give in on occasion, we know that it is okay, and we will come back fighting.