In the Beginning…
…there was the word, and that word was “hide.” If you don’t know what I am talking about, consider yourself lucky.
Winter has been a difficult time, making leaving the house that much harder. It would be easy to surrender to these feelings, but that would only cause me to feel worse about myself. And I have discovered that it is a far better feeling to try and fail than to not try in the first place.
I had some simple errands to run the other day. I had not been anyplace in several days and I was looking forward to getting out of the house. That desire completely masked my apprehension, and I was able to exit the building without much ado. But as soon as I pulled out of the driveway, the old pattern took hold of me: I began flooding.
Information began entering my mind at breakneck speed. I could not stop the input. Every slight movement caught my eye and distracted me. Every noise diverted my attention away from the task of driving the car. Over and over I shook my head to regain focus. It was then that I realized what was going on: I recognized the symptoms of the event that was unfolding, and I unraveled them. After a few minutes of debating with myself, I realized that perhaps this was the day to just tough it out, as the benefits of a day out of the house far outweighed a retreat to the safety of my home.
But nothing is as simple as that. Once at home, I began thinking about fear in general. Fear has been defined in many ways: from that of a mental weakness to a lack of faith in God. But when you come right down to it, the important things isn’t how we define it, but what we do about it.
I am of the belief that some fear is necessary. It is part of our survival skills. Here are some examples:
* Fear of FLYING vs. the fear of CRASHING
* Fear of WATER vs. the fear of DROWNING
* Fear of HEIGHTS vs. the fear of FALLING OFF A SKYSCRAPER
* Fear of ANIMALS vs. the fear of A CHARGING LION
* Fear of STARVATION vs. the fear of RUNNING OUT OF FRITOS (personal fear)
* Fear of BUGS vs. the fear of THE SPIDER THAT IS ON YOUR FACE
As one can plainly see, there is an element of fear that we need or we would never make it to age 21 and beyond. The problem arises when the little things (BIG to a fearful person) stop us from living. Like these:
* Fear of LEAVING THE HOUSE
* Fear of MEETING PEOPLE
* Fear of RUNNING OUT OF FRITOS (okay a person can live without Fritos, although I don’t know how).
* Fear of PIZZA (I just made that one up, but I bet somebody out there has it. If not, I just invented a new one, so I will copyright it. Now if you have it, you have to pay me).
Can we laugh at our fears? Sure! It’s way better than crying about them. Laughter is an amazing coping mechanism, once referred to as “the best medicine.” Whomever coined that phrase was right.
So, the bottom line is: don’t worry about your fears or what you have to do to handle them. If you do that, you only empower them. Have a good laugh, cut them down to size, and enjoy life.