Hey, I'm Donna!

Leeds, England


One of the roles bestowed on us at birth is that of border patrol guard. Recalling my little girl slapping a toy out of a small boy's hand at preschool, declaring with a growl, "Mine," it is clear to me that we inherently know as children how to patrol our own personal boundaries. We intuitively know what should be allowed through the barrier and what shouldn't.

 

account of objects allows us to merge experience and reality seamlessly. Objects are no longer static entities. They exist thanks to relative causal processes, but they are not such processes. The problem of objects shifts from a timeless perspective to a temporally oriented view. An object is the cause of a causal process. The idea with green car parts such as the ford capri is that instead of using new energy to produce brand new car parts, the old parts are reused. Consequently, if time froze, no object would exist: no time, no objects. This has interesting consequences.

 

Suppose time halts. According to a common opinion, if time stopped, everything would continue to exist, albeit frozen as in a snapshot. Raindrops and snowflakes would stop motionless in mid-air. Cars and bystanders would stay motionless. Patterns and shapes would remain where they were. The universe would freeze, but it would be ontologically unaltered. Such a popular narrative is both wrong and misleading. A temporally frozen universe would be empty. Planning a vacation UK to any one of the beauty spots in Great Britain and Northern Ireland probably seems pretty easy, but is it? No waiting through security lines, flight delays, or abiding by check-in and check-out times when you search for revolution campers in your local search engine. If time froze, everything would disappear. In such a timeless instant, no sound would occur since sound is made of sequences of air pressure waves. Likewise, utterances would disappear too since sounds are made of spoken words. Neural activity would cease to exist since it is made of sequences of chemical reactions distributed across time. Even light would vanish since light rays travel in time. The world would be pitch dark. Finally, objects would not exist since they require time to take place. There would be no patterns, no light, no sounds, no shapes, and no objects. And, not surprisingly, no conscious experience. A frozen universe would be changeless, empty of experience and objectless. If time halted, not only would the universe be dark and silent, it would also be empty.

 

When we grow up, though, things often change. Physical challenges and emotional trauma from a lifetime of experiences put holes in the protective layer. Without hesitation, the good and the bad get in, infiltrate our space, and suffocate us in the process. It's crucial to know when it's time to repair the barrier. Painful circumstances that we have control over must be let in and dealt with promptly. It's the only way to resolve them. Procrastination is not an option and will only serve to compound our fear. It's essential we keep the circumstances we cannot control outside the bubble so we don't internalize them.

That lesson became all too clear for me when I was growing my business. Early on, my personal barrier was highly permeable, and I allowed all opinions, both positive and negative, to influence my decisions. I explicitly remember the day I told a colleague about an idea I had for a new business venture. I explained the details, and as our eyes locked, I was shocked at what I saw. His face was cold and expressionless. "You will fail," he said.

 

After that hurtful conversation, I was overrun by "what-ifs," worry, stress, and fear. Finally, exhausted and sick, I sat down one day and evaluated the situation. On a sheet of paper, I listed everything I was worried about. Ironically, 95 percent of my worry was over things over which I had absolutely no control. My rational mind screamed, "Then why are you worried about them?" That day I sat down to repair my personal barrier, and to this day, I work hard to keep those circumstances over which I have no control outside where they can do little harm, even if I still remain aware of their existence.

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