A while back, I wrote a post praising the benefits of willful blindness. In it, I argued that being willfully blind and neglecting negative and pressing issues can help you attain more optimism and positivity in your life. I compared willful blindness to a strong chemical drug that disrupts the normal flow of thoughts in your mind. And now, just a few months later, I have realized that I have overdosed on this cancerous drug. Little did I know that what I had extolled and worshipped as a hack to life was just another form of denial; denying that bad is present or oncoming. Every negative thought that I had shelved and ignored was stored away in my mental cellar which I thought had no limit, until I began to realize that none of these buried thoughts just vanish. No, they pile up and across, until they begin to extrude out of your eyes and ears, your heart and soul. The better solution, rather than neglect your problems and pretend they don’t exist, is to befriend them. It is to know that bad and ugly happens around you and all across the world, and that this is perfectly normal. While the thought of something may be terrifying, the actual manifestation of that fear is tamable. The shadow is scarier than its caster.

Every negative thought I’ve stashed away has in time become an abrupt reality, and although it may sadden or harm me at, reality is always manageable. I came upon this realization just recently. I became increasingly interested in the history of the Middle East after watching a film called Zero Dark Thirty, and I spent days reading every Wikipedia article on the matter. The stories of the Middle East were more intense and twisted than any novel I’d ever read. It is the tale of an ever unstable region with fields laced of golden oil, where as a politician you are more likely to be assassinated than not. It is the story of a million people who have been mercilessly killed or displaced, with not a soul to ask about their dreams and ambitions. It made me realize that all this,— everything around us and the governments by which we stand—is but a work in progress; an effort to try and do things right, as hard and evasive as that may be. I thought that politics and foreign relations were opaque and esoteric topics beyond my understanding, but it is much simpler than that: it is a handful of human beings making trades and deals for the better good of the country they represent, and since every government represents a different country, there will always be conflicts and conflicts of interest. And that’s ok; this is normal, default behavior.

You see, even before you and I were born, wars and other grueling events had been omnipresent and ongoing. It is no use to think that we — we precious products of western civilization — will be some special exception to the way things work on this planet. Your life is as safe as geography and circumstances permit. Loss of wealth, disease, and death are all commonplace here. The thought of one or more of those things occurring is horrifying, but a human adapts at all costs. This is precisely why no event can leave us better or worse. We are strange living organisms living on a fragile planet, with odd protrusions coming out from our bodies in every which way. We have evolved, through millions of years, no—through nine months, from non intelligent life forms, to upright and impossibly intelligent beings. None of this is normal. Life is a program in beta — there are bugs and malware, deformities and oddities. Things will break and shatter; hearts will palpitate and implode; blood will seep out of your veins, perhaps one day uncontrollably; seas will dry and wither, taking with it the people of nearby lands— all is orderly and expected on this dear and mean planet Earth.

Bring your fears to life. Chase after the thing you fear most and manifest it; only then will you know that you are better than it. A fearful thought can only exist and nestle in your mind, but once manifested into the physical, it can no longer live in the same environment as we; for these heavy thoughts require the sweet glucose of your brain to survive; require you to tend to them and acknowledge them, for they are nothing without you, and you all the better without them.