Excerpt About Terror

There is Terror in Having No Supporting Mirrors to Give Us Meaning

It is not easy to look clearly and sincerely at ourselves. Most of us don’t even know what is difficult about it. We just find our minds dodging in all directions to avoid it. I break up with my boyfriend, and suddenly I’m eating. If I’m not eating, I’m doing my paintings that I haven’t touched in ten years. Or I am just divorced or retired, so I’m going to travel for a year or so to see what’s there in life. Now this may be a great idea, but what is motivating you? Our minds are clever at avoiding the feeling that arises at the end of anything, because there is a terror of having no supporting mirrors to give us meaning. Just to exist as we are brings up a big fear of the emptiness. There is usually a fear that we don’t really have any Essence, and that we don’t have an identity. We may believe that the emptiness is all there is. This might be reinforced by early childhood experiences involving a panic about being different from others, about being different from our parents, for example, which creates a
kind of self-consciousness.

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