Originally published at furtherupfurtherin.net on October 14, 2016. Republished with permission. Get your blog featured!
When I was younger, I had a recurring nightmare.
I entirely blame the movie Space Camp for this nightmare because of the scene where the kid almost gets lost in space. My nightmare, whether I’m asleep or awake, is drifting away in space without anything to hold on to. Space, though I love the stars, is extremely terrifying. Being lost in space? Even worse.
Even though it’s entirely irrational as I most likely will not ever go to space, this fear is rooted in something that I experience even when my feet are planted solidly on earth.
The fear is rooted in the fact that we as humans fear losing control or getting lost or just… floating away.
Disappearing. Fading. Flying endlessly in a dark abyss with only yourself to keep you company. This fear is entirely rational. We all fear “floating in space.” Or “getting lost at sea.”
Life, with all its complexities, is almost as vast as our universe. There are billions of lives on this planet alone.
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In the midst of humanity, it is entirely rational to fear getting lost.
It is entirely rational to be scared, to feel small. I’m sure when astronauts are up above the earth looking down, they feel small, too.
And despite feeling small, whenever astronauts actually have to go outside their safe spaceship to make repairs, they tether themselves. They tie themselves to parts of the spaceship, and they don’t let go.
When captains of ships want to stop in the middle of the vast, slippery ocean, they drop a big hunk of metal into the depths. They anchor themselves, and they don’t let it go.
When anxiety and fear attack, pelting you relentlessly, find an anchor. Hold onto it.
Hold on to your friends, your family, the ones you call your own. Hold on to TV shows and books and music and stories of all kinds. Hold on to your favorite pet. Hold on to the next day, the next sunbeam, the next hint of brighter things.
Hold on tight, and don’t let go. But if you do let go, you are not lost. You will always be able to find another tether.
You will always be able to find your way back to safety.
You will always be able to throw out another anchor. You will always be able to throw out a searchlight, looking for brighter things.
You will always be able to find your way back home.
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