Fear Less: Ten Things You Can Control Today (Plus, Some Flying Aversion Therapy)

 

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 flyingbut 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. 

Jet wash.

Sand pelting.

But wait, there’s more…

 

jet landing maho beach

What’s that coming in over the horizon?

A jet. 

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?

Happy Monday!!

 

Sunset over Maho Beach

 

 

**If you enjoyed this post, you can subscribe to receive my new posts straight to your inbox. Just add your email in the space at the top of the right sidebar under my photo.

Hope Will Find You

 

 

All week I’ve been reading great flash fiction written by my fellow campaigners, most of which start with The door swung open and end with The door swung shut. So, it was interesting when I also read an inspiring memoir, Hope Will Find You, by Naomi Levy that offered a new take on the following saying:

When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.–Alexander Graham Bell

It’s optimistic, but it also seems to require a faith or hope that we might be struggling for, depending on what is behind our closed door. If we’ve lost our faith or sense of hope, then we focus on the failure, the disappointment or the sadness.

Sometimes we stay there simply because we are waiting for improvement, good news, or The Hope.

In her book, Naomi suggests that we don’t wait. Instead, she says to turn around, face that new place and live. No matter what, keep moving forward, because that’s the space where hope will find you.

Like Dorrie from Finding Nemo said, “Just keep swimming.”

We might not have had any control over that door slamming, but we are in control of our attitude and focus. How we view our life is a matter of perception.

 

“Hope is about stepping inside life instead of waiting on the sidelines. It’s about welcoming what’s there. Because when you open yourself to it, hope is everywhere.”

What are you focusing on? Will you be ready when hope tracks you down?

*              *             *

In other news, thanks so much to Ruth Schiffman for giving me the Liebster Blog award. I will be posting my five nominations soon!

Also, I am hoping to track down all the blogs I started following with Google Friend Connect. I clicked it many, many times this past week and only one, lovely, blog is listed in my account (even after I click “manage blogs” as the help site suggested). Where did they all go? I don’t know, but now I am adding blogs manually to Google reader. I know I am missing a bunch, but I am sure I will come across them again as the campaign continues.

And thanks to everyone for the blog love, and to Deniz for letting me know my poem made the short list for stage two.   Have a great week!