I am not fearless.
But I’d love to fear less. I dream of the day I can hang out–anxiety free– in a tiny (locked) airplane bathroom, buffeted by turbulence, while holding a tarantula.
Um, okay, not really.
One of my biggest fears is flying, but I don’t have to deal with that regularly. However, I can brew up a complex worry and fear stew made up of poisonous, self-defeating thoughts at any moment. Last week, when I was sick, drifting in and out of sleep on the couch, I managed to criticize myself for my lack of productivity. And more.
Turns out there’s no need for me to fear criticism from others (although that happens too), because I know all my insecurities and secrets. I have the ability to obliterate my self-esteem all on my own. Some days I am my own worst enemy.
But I understand WHY I sometimes make these noxious fear stews.
Control. I’m pretty sure ALL of my fears are based on my control freakery.
I had really no control over the dizzy spells and nausea, much the same way I can’t do anything to stop anyone else’s thoughts, judgments, or words (oh, but sometimes I try via self-editing–essentially censoring ME).
I also have no idea how to fly a plane (and no matter how many times my husband the engineer explains the Bernoulli effect I still tend to see aviation science as pure luck.
And there was apparently no control to be had over the door handle mechanism breaking in a JC Penney fitting room last month. However I could’ve taken a moment to breathe before panicking and dropping to my knees and shimmying under the small gap at the bottom of the door.
Yeah, I haven’t figured out how to deal with my fears, not all the way. Like flying, I take this fear thing one trip (and one Army crawl under a dressing room door) at a time.
But recently I tried something that might be considered fear aversion therapy. A couple of weeks ago I got up close with those “lucky” flying machines.
A lovely, unsuspecting beach in the Caribbean.
But this beach (Maho beach) backs up to the airport.
Happy pilot waves at beach goers making happy plane associations.
Beach goers find a spot on the fence to hang on. Wait…what???
Then this happens.
But wait, there’s more…
What’s that coming in over the horizon?
You can’t tell by this photo, but it’s a big one.
And even though I’m scared of flying, I was pretty excited to see a plane landing right above me (it’s that fear/fascination thing).
Yes, that’s me in the blue pants running away. But hey, I did it!
And if you suffer from daily control freakery, here’s a little something that might help. Maybe being a little more mindful of the things we can control, might lessen the load of those we can’t.
What are your thoughts on fear?
Sunset over Maho Beach
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