Fear of Exposure

The tag line of this blog is “towards freedom” and in order to be free in mind, if not entirely in body, one has to face one’s fears. I have touched upon two of these fears this morning, the fear of exposure (skeletons) and the fear of death. To be free one also has to pay off whatever karmic debt is owed.

This fear of exposure I suspect is a growing one, largely because of all the window dressing which goes on. I think it fair to say that for the majority of us the fear of exposure is disproportionate. That which we fear having exposed about ourselves is not all that heinous. It may be shabby. It may be a lack of perfection. Or it may be a fear about something slightly embarrassing. Actually, many of those things which we are embarrassed about are only embarrassing in our own minds or because of some social conditioning. This perhaps quintessentially British angst, is shared across the globe. What is embarrassing in one country is less so in others. In Japan, it is not uncommon to get your kit off and have a bath stark bollock naked with complete strangers on a business meeting, even if you are so hairy as to cause people to stare.

We have a vast minefield of unmentionables, which we need to navigate on tip toe, on a daily basis. Because of a fear of exposure, we can enact a drama of epic proportions, that drama can cause huge problems. These problems are way out of scale compared to the thing which we fear having exposed. Amongst the most terrifying of all things we do not want to expose is our feelings. This hidden nosferatu, of feelings, must be kept away from prying eyes and wagging tongues. Can you remember the teenage angst of having a crush? Should that be revealed the world would end. But our crush might like to know. So instead of skipping off happily ever after into the sunset, we fear exposure and are awkward and angst ridden around the object we might grow to love. We keep it secret and suppressed.

There are big fears and little fears. And nowadays there is this growth in “impostor syndrome”. Why? Because we are forced to make up so much shit in order to look supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. No wonder we feel an impostor. The more we fear exposure, the more closeted we become in our behaviours. We hold hands with our skeletons and whisper sweet nothings in their ear. We approach life as if we are off cottaging, on Hampstead Heath. Maybe there is a little frisson there, but there is also fear. It doesn’t make us feel clean and light, it makes us feel a little on the ashamed and tawdry side. And so, guess what? We fear exposure ever more. The more secrets we have the more we fear being exposed.

This covert secretive approach to life is draining. Perhaps one day we need to be the spy who “comes in from the cold”. To let go of “Moscow Rules” in our intrigue ridden lives.

This fear of exposure is not easy to beat. It takes time. But little by little as you face each fear, you feel lighter. There is freedom and you stop being such a tense motherfucker all the time. And when you stop being so edgy and tense, you can, perhaps for the first time in your life, relate in a meaningful way.

Having cued this up:

Do I suffer from fear of exposure?

What exactly do I fear exposed?

Is my fear of exposure disproportionate?

What is so very wrong with me as a being that I do not want others to see?

In reality am I simply human?

And what is so bad about that?