A Fear Or Just A Coward???

November 20, 2006

I live in fear. In fact, I thrive on it; at times, even crave it. Often hidden or desperately avoided, fear is the stubborn and powerful force behind my most passions.

I have a fear of falling from staircase, bridge, ocean, being in the cubical – small narrow room, will get paranoid in the high places or small one, and some other more.

A few weeks ago, I began the difficult yet healing process of exploring my fear. I was so excited when planning to skiing for the second year. But a fear is an issue I deal with on a regular basis. A basic part of sliding downhill (it was so high, slippery, very narrow route and surrounding by frozen trees :P) to my safety and survival, it is also responsible for the adrenalin that pumps through my body as I move my ski-board. A Fear stop me dead, put me off from experiencing joy and pursuing my passionate goals. A victim of its strength, I had allowed it to take too much from me and realized I must learn how to use it to my advantage and control it rather than let it control me. Engaged in panic, my breath was forced and short, my body stiff, hands sweaty and desperately over-gripping the sticks, and my mind, void of reason. Without the ability to function rationally, my leg shaking violently, exhausted hands threatening to slide off the hold while I silently urged myself to make that necessary, extremely committing throw. Each time, I realized the damage I was doing as I continued to punish myself for allowing the fear to control me once again; but like an addiction, I was unable to stop it. Something within me gained perverse pleasure from listening to my ruthless words. Not only had fear prevented me from finishing too many routes, it had severed my ability to think reasonably and positively. Ultimately, I would finish the day with the assertion that I was done with skiing.

There is fear in skiing for obvious reasons. Those reasons generally point to the risk of falling, becoming injured, even dying. It is not difficult to understand and accept that, where adventure is concerned, fear serves a critical purpose. I was scared, terrified to the point of tears as I clung to the rock or snow or whatever, I realized I would continue to make mistakes, to fail and to fall. I would experience disappointment and not always do it right or be the best.

I’m not sure who it was that first said, “it is better to have loved and lost than not to have loved at all.” But I believe it is true. As it is true, it is better to have downhill skiing and fallen, than not to have downhill skiing at all. Or that it is better to have applied for that dream job and not been called back, than to never know you might have been hired. And so I will skiing again. And I will love — deeply, powerfully, and enormously. I will take risks and pursue new life experiences, even when I know I may not succeed or it may not turn out exactly the way I had anticipated. And I will experience fear, recognizing, accepting and respecting it. I will breathe deep and continuously and tell myself that what I am experiencing is normal.



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