Fear: a Curse Upon Me

Rutger at the Ready by Barry Shaffer on Flickr

Facing the Worst Possible Outcome (WPO)

We spend a lot of our time and energy doing whatever we can to avoid the worst possible outcome, but what if we embraced it instead? What if, instead of running, we turned around and looked it in the eye? What would happen if we embraced the fact that we’re going to die, and it might be cancer, it might be a heart attack and it might be a big accident? What if we make peace with the possibility that our husband or wife could very well leave us one day (yikes!), or maybe we forgot to lock the door, or here’s a big one: we could lose everything we own–to a stock market crash, a fire, or we could get fired from our job.

I don’t mean some kind of positive thinking campaign where you try to force yourself to look forward to these tragic experiences, and I don’t mean a passive acceptance of things that might cause you or your relationships harm. Rather, by embracing the WPO, I mean exploring these dark, scary places and asking, “then what?” If the worst happens, then what happens after that? Can I cope? Can I see any goodness in it, no matter how small? I have a little exercise for you: take a moment to look at one of your fears, big or small, and if you’re brave, take a trip to the WPO. Just for a second, look inside and make a note of what thoughts or feelings come up. Read more of this post