When we get too close to the fire, we get burned. When we get burned, it hurts. When we feel pain, we recoil. We naturally pull away from what causes us pain and suffering.
Our brains are cool like that.
We learn from pain. We’ll keep ourselves away from the things that make us hurt. We’ll do anything it takes to keep ourselves safe, even if it means avoiding all the things that could hurt. This includes all things that maybe, possibly, potentially could bring on that burn again. Things that could end up bringing great joy, love and enlightenment – Our minds view them as far too risky, too close to the fire. No, we must stay as far away from the fire as possible. Further. Safer.
To what end?
Essentially, we could fail at everything we do, lose everyone we love, find ourselves rejected at every turn. Or, we couldn’t. The risk in avoiding the things that make us afraid is the opportunity cost of passing up a potentially perfect outcome instead. The more we face our fears and even experience losses, the less scary and painful they become. The more happiness we can find. Peace inside. Safer.