Those types of experiences, coupled with the reality I grew up with, the type of political work I've committed myself to over the years, and the way I choose to live my life e.g. claiming my space, protecting it, and doing the same for others, I've had numerous encounters with the threat of physical violence. And, actual violence has resulted from those threats on countless occasions. So, my point is I've had a lot of time and space to think about, and experience, fear. What I've figured out is we have the capacity to learn how to navigate through life despite our fears. I've actually gotten pretty good at learning how to acknowledge my fears while working through them so that they are incapable of stopping me from achieving whatever objectives need to be achieved.
I hope what comes through here is that I, like you, experience fear on a regular basis. I've learned some productive ways of learning how to work through my fears, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. Since I'm so conscious about this question, I've also learned to identify the things that represent my true fears, as opposed to those things that I'm reacting too. What I mean is I define general fears as things I don't understand. My lack of understanding causes me to react with fear. True fear is something I understand that I haven't figured out how to resolve. A general fear is something I don't understand. An example of a general fear is my diabetes. I'm not perfect, but I make every effort to eat right, everyday. I also exercise everyday. I've done both for years. As a result, for the most part, my diabetes has always been under control. I certainly have had my struggles, but after being diagnosed almost 20 years ago, I can say proudly that my eyesight, dental condition, etc., are perfectly healthy; the triggers to identifying issues with diabetes management. Still, I'm also aware that even with controlled A1C (diabetes terminology to indicate where you stand in managing the condition), I'm at an increased risk for heart issues. This is true despite the fact my blood pressure is consistently at levels indicative of someone 20 years my minor. I'm researching options for this, but until I come up with a clear solution, that isn't taking medicines, this issue is causing some trepidation for me because I don't yet have a solution for it.
An example of a true fear e.g. something I do understand and have a solution for; is pertaining to the legacy I want to leave behind. I worry every day about whether I'm doing all I can do to live up to the sacrifices my ancestors made for me. I believe that I feel their pain and suffering in a vivid way. And, I'm a spiritual person so I believe I'm in constant contact with those who came before me. I believe they are watching me. I believe they have invested a lot in me and they have expectations. Their expectations are that I will continue the fight they carried to bring about justice for humanity. This is something I understand completely. There is absolutely no confusion about it. No information I still need. I know exactly what I need to do to resolve this, but yet I still have intense fear about it. Why? Because the requirements, although clear, are overwhelming sometimes. To do what I need to do, I must constantly confront my self doubts. I must challenge them, and I must overcome them. I must speak out against injustice, even when unpopular. I know how to do this. I do it all the time, but yet it never gets any easier because doing so creates alienation and other issues which cause depression, etc. As a result, if you are a person of justice, you constantly battle, as I do, this back and forth of how to make sure you stand up while managing the resulting trauma that comes with it. Then, there is the guilt for feeling anything because I know those that came before me dealt with much more than I will ever have to deal with. But, most of all, there is the fear that I will fail to stand up. I'm talking about the situations that aren't as clearly defined. A racist skinhead running towards us isn't what I'm talking about. That's clearly defined. That person is going down. That's easy. I'm talking about patriarchal things that are systemic and subtle that I may not recognize because I'm a man. I've failed in that regard before and the resulting disappointment was overwhelming. The challenge to take principled positions on other people's struggles for justice besides our African liberation struggle and to challenge my people to become open and conscious about that. I've failed at this before and hated how I felt as a result of this. Now, if I can give myself just a little credit here, I know I'm much better at all of this than most people, but as a result, my bar for myself is pretty high. In fact, I often wonder how so many people can live with themselves being so mediocre and liberal about justice, but those are your challenges that you must learn to confront if you are going to be an honest person. My job is to create a standard for myself and to make it high because I want to contribute to creating a high standard because I know that's how we will ultimately win. That's a lot of pressure and the fear of failing is ever present. That's a true fear. My priority fear. My constant bed partner.
Think about what your true fear is. I know the more I think about mine, the more ideas I will come up with to confront it. I've done a reasonable job so far. I learn from my mistakes. I continue fighting and moving forward. That's the secret of life. You cannot eliminate fear, but you can learn to confront and work through it. The enemies of humanity - capitalism/imperialism - depend upon our fears consuming us. That's their primary weapon. I have no intention of letting them get away with it.