La Voz de Galicia – March 1, 2024 →

Cristina PatoSometimes I think about the complexity of fear, and its ability to paralyze us. I’m not referring to real or rational fears, but to all those irrational fears that occupy our minds with thoughts that only lead us to feel more fear, to paralyze us more, and to ruminate endlessly without being able to stop. I remember those drama classes I attended when I was young, where the teacher talked about the «what ifs» of the characters we portrayed to help us get into their skin: «What if the character doesn’t know what to do?» «What if something happens to the character?» Well, there are days when those «what ifs» of hypothetical catastrophes that could happen take hold of me and don’t let me do anything but feel fear. As Cervantes wrote through the voice of Sancho Panza, «fear has many eyes and sees things beneath the earth.»

Perhaps my rational fear has saved me from many potentially dangerous situations, and has taught me many things. But I don’t understand this other fear that takes over me when I least need it. That irrational fear that imagines a multitude of horrible things that could happen in any everyday situation or in any vital decision. That fear that ‘sees things beneath the earth’ is the fear that I find hardest to tame, and there are days when I can’t control it; then I don’t engage in doing something for fear of it going wrong, I don’t move forward for fear of stumbling… And, out of fear, I simply stop doing what I have to do, or what I want to do. And, out of fear, I stop being myself, although I suppose that’s also me. And there, halfway through myself, I try to cling to a compelling reason that brings me back to reality: a book, a walk, a song…

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