Sunday, August 30, 2009

Facing my fears

I've known Peggy all of my life, upon first look, you may think, "I don't wanna run into her in a dark ally." She is loud, speaks her mind using a variety of 4-letter words and has physically fought men for dissin' her. I can confidently say she ain't afraid of anything that walks on two legs; however, on last Sunday I saw a very different side of her.

She practically ran to the other side of the backyard when she saw a cricket near her...Peggy is scared of bugs...who woulda thought?!? Peggy wasn't kidding around or being funny, she was genuinely uncomfortable and physically extricated herself from the bug's vicinity; she proceeded to watch that one cricket the rest of the afternoon.

Let's be fair to Peggy, some fears are normal, healthy and good. Fear is our mind's way of letting us know danger may be afoot. Some common fears include: speaking in public, heights, being closed in a small space, spiders & bugs (Peggy), needles & getting shots (my Daddy), death, flying on a plane, dogs, thunder & lightning and crowds. When these fears begin to impede our lives, hamper our success or become irrational, is when they've progressed to the phobia stage and tend to require professional intervention. I used to be afraid of some of the aforementioned, particularly dogs and thunder & lightning. Over time the fears have dissipated and I've come want a dog of my own and I enjoy the grandeur of nature's symphony during a storm.

Since the incident with Peggy last weekend, I've been thinking about fear: what fears I may have and how these fears have impacted my life.
  • What has fear kept me from trying, tasting, achieving, enjoying, smelling, touching...
  • How has fear kept me bound, gagged, paralyzed, confused, dumbfounded...
  • Which fears are of irrational, irrelevant, out-of-date...
It is not enough to think about my fears, I must admit I have them, name them and face them head on if I'm to overcome them. Over the next few weeks, I will begin the work of facing my fears head-on. I don't expect to quell all of my fears in a matter of days; however, I do expect to recognize them and start putting them into perspective, getting control of them vs. letting them control me.

I have a lot of work to do, which is one thing I know I'm not scared of.

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