Tag Archives: fear

Fear

Fear makes me want to hide.

Fear makes me want to curl up in a corner and squeeze my eyes shut.

Fear makes me want to cry.

Fear makes me worry for things I cannot change.

Fear makes me feel powerless, helpless.

 

I think I’ve been obsessively cleaning and rearranging things in my room because that seems to be the only thing I can control right now.

Liberation from Fear

From the one and only Mandela, who certainly had plenty to fear in his life.

As I reflect on this quote, one particular fear that I’ve always carried around comes to mind: The fear of judgement from others.

In a recent MBCT session, we were asked to write down a possible stress/depression trigger. I wrote:

“When I feel that others are watching and grading the quality of what I do”. 

What sort of thoughts run through your mind then?

“They can tell I’m acting. They will be able to tell I’m not that good. They’ll be able to tell I’m trying to fake it. They’ll see me for who I really am, with my weaknesses and all. I won’t be liked as much after this.” 

What happens in your body?

“Lightheaded. Heart racing. Adrenaline rush.”

What do you feel like doing (after)?

“Tell a trusted friend about it. Pray. Seek validation from myself or from others. Journal about it. Process. Change environment so that I can get a different perspective on the experience (and I usually do, thankfully).” 

Are there any old habits of thinking or behaviour that might unwittingly keep you stuck in feelings of depression or stress?

“Replaying the scene in my head, over and over again.” 

 

While I was told that I have pretty good coping mechanisms, it doesn’t change the fact that we will still face plenty of scenarios in life that would make us fearful. Slowly, I see how our way of BEING (being mindful, being aware of our old thought habits which may be unhealthy) can affect the way we DO things, and that in turn might have an effect on how we are SEEN. While changing our behaviour to cater to the approval of others is never a good idea, we ourselves would certainly benefit from a better quality of doing, doing from a place of non-fear.

And who wouldn’t benefit from a presence of non-fear?

The Day I Braved The Storm

This happened a few days ago, but I’ve waited till now to write about it because I felt the need to reflect on the experience (and get over the trauma, the horrible trauma…)

It was the day after Mum went back. Feeling a little lonely and not wanting to stay in my room for the rest of the day, I decided to go to the nearby mall and read at a cafe. To be alone with my thoughts, yet surrounded by the warmth of strangers I have no obligation to talk to. You know, the usual comforting activity.

The weather was fine. The sky blue. The clouds, white and fluffy. Without checking the weather forecast, I went out.

What a mistake that was going to be.

 

The sky started darkening when I stepped out of the mall, 2 hours later.
“Better get home quick,” I thought.
To my dismay, the next bus was scheduled to come in 20 minutes.
Still, I held on to the hope that I would be able to get back before the storm broke.
I was on the bus when the winds became really strong and the rain started pelting down. Through the glass panels, I saw trees bending at angles I did not think possible. My heart gave a little shiver. I saw passengers who alighted at stops before me, have their hair whipped into a tangled mess. I gulped as my stop neared.

Gripping my umbrella tightly, trying to ignore the little voice inside me telling me that it’s going to be useless – I stepped out of the bus and into the rain.

And immediately, I felt as small and helpless as a butterfly in a tsunami.

The wind not only drenched, but chilled me to the bones. Each step seemed to stretch into forever. In those few seconds, I literally thought I might die, either from the fierce winds, or from being blown away!

I took gasping breaths as I ran, as quickly as possible, to the nearest shelter – the library building. There, still 15 minutes away from home – I waited for my breath to catch up with me. And hoped that the winds would die down.

Thankfully, it did slow, though the rain did not abate. The last stretch home was less treacherous, but included navigating through numerous puddles of rainwater (poor shoes took an entire day and night afterwards to dry out).

The best part?

When I finally reached my house, panting, drenched and exhausted from the war – I lifted my room’s blinds and saw – BLUE SKIES. WHITE CLOUDS.

It was a passing storm, and I just HAD to pass by with it.

 

Lessons?

I suppose this is a testimony to the saying that whatever doesn’t kill you will make you stronger.

And, no storm lasts forever.

Also, as I look back on those few moments when I seriously thought I wasn’t going to make it, when my heart was gripped with paralyzing fear – I realize it was also at those moments when I was praying most fervently. And prayer did give me strength to brave through the cruel winds and take every step I did, despite my fear.

For about 2 days after that experience, I was actually paranoid about the weather and did not want to go out for fear of meeting another freak storm again! But when I think about the experience from such a perspective, I can fall back on knowing that everything happens for a reason, and we can still try to find meaning in our seemingly negative experiences. In this case, even though the storm was a negative experience, it gave me a chance to find strength through prayer, which I might not do under normal circumstances. I think that’s one way of looking at the experience under more positive lens. And with that, I hope to dispel my paranoia and move on.

 

And oh yes, the most important lesson of all: Check the weather forecast.