Whenever I look at the news, I encounter people telling me why I should be afraid.
Should I be afraid of that?
These days, I am more afraid than usual because of the political situation in the U.S. and because I can hear and feel my brand new mechanical heart valve working when I’m trying to sleep.
Should I be afraid of those things?
I don’t know if I should be afraid of anything. As I tell people in therapy, shoulds are unhelpful cognitive distortions and shoulds about emotions can be particularly toxic. When I’m having any emotion, including fear, I try to let the emotion move through me, rather than judging it with shoulds.
I guess I’m recommending that we feel fear without being afraid of it.
I should also say that most things I’ve been afraid of in the past have simply not come true. If they have come true, fear has neither helped me nor prevented me from facing them.
Should I be afraid that I have not adequately addressed today’s topic of Why I Should be Afraid?
Should we be afraid of any of my photos from yesterday?
Should I be afraid of being late for work if I don’t find a suitable song on YouTube very soon?
Should I worry or be afraid about getting comments today?
I should, without being afraid, thank all those who helped me create today’s post and also you — of course! — for being here, now.