Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fear

Part of the farm woodlands

I've spent a great deal of time since buying the farm, arriving battled and broken, pondering emotions. Fear is one of them. Such a primal emotion, so intense and undying if left to it's own devices. It has an endless and ever-evolving lifespan. How easy it is to step from one fear to the next. And if by some fluke there's no immediate panic of you own you'll soon be presented with a variety via news, public place conversation, family, coworkers, friends. Often well meaning yet (IME) devastating to quality of life if absorbed on a steady, frequent basis.

There is a vast difference between people sharing difficult worry or events, discussing options, comforting one another, seeking solutions and the general, ongoing fear I'm refering to. What is odd about most fear that obsesses people if allowed to (myself included) is that it isn't personal event related. Rather it's woven of vague possibilities or lack of control - brought to attention by politics or commercials or facebook or weather stations or newspapers or such. Worst of all this sort of fear seems to reject any and all possible solution.

Like an itch that can't be scratched away, fear seems to endlessly replicate and as humans we drift (in many instances) towards allowing it to sit in the drivers seat - either by ignoring possible options - or if no solution is visible - letting it grip us rather than resist the damage it inflicts.

I know - I do. For years it ruled me with wild abandon. I'd hate to count the cumulative time I allowed it to steal from me (thinking of the potentially calm or happy hours it consumed) because I allowed it to. Handed it the keys. Opened the door to the drivers side of my mind. Then I seated myself in the passenger seat. As fear floored it, speed racing with my mind, dodging truth, avoiding solutions, hanging two wheels off the cliff edge of sanity, I remained in the passenger seat (without even buckling my seatbelt).

When the farm and I found each other people began to share with me how fearful they were that it was an ill advised idea (the farm) sharing their (well intentioned) fears. I was afraid. My checkbook was scared sh*tless. Banks and insurance companies were hysterical. Complete strangers feared for me (and shared their fears with me). I sensed I had to choose. Choose between giving the 'drivers keys' to fear and sitting meekly thru endless wild rides in my mind. OR I could begin to drive myself - at least some of the time. I chose the latter and it was, I hate to admit, a good deal more difficult to do than to say. As I began repairing the farm, putting her back together, I was determined to rebuild myself. Repairing both of us, to better than when we'd started  .

I began to watch less  (eventually little to no) news.  Cancelled the paper. Saw less of (or paid less heed to)  those who 'feared for me and my choices'. Because after all, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Tho the best help to me EVER in controlling fear (and I'd have it tatooed if I weren't a wimp, lol) is:  if you keep doing the same thing you've always done, you'll continue to get the same results you've always gotten.  Brilliant and true! I added new behaviours to combat fear, about something actual or imagined. When I'd wake up in the night in a cold sweat I'd make lists, look for solutions, beat fear back with a stick. I'd choose and try something, ANYthing to defeat what I was fearing because action IS control - results aside - doing SOMEthing is better than nothing (another newsflash for me, lol).

Little by little I gained ground against fear, useless lout that he is. At  least now he had to ASK for the keys. It was a start.  In the weeks, months and years that followed I began to teach myself to carefully choose (or avoid when appropriate) fear inducing interactions/events/input. Again I must stress, I'm not refering to listening or sharing real life concerns or problem solving but rather the vague-y, dark cloud-y, soap opera-ish, stock market-y, pharmaceutical-y, insurance-ish, chickenlittle-y sort of fear.

These days, I struggle still. Part of life. Part of living. Part of growing.
(what's that saying? If you're not a little afraid you need to try something new! lol)
But more days are calm, productive, content.  More hours are spent seeking solutions than worrying in a circle of indecision. More nites are filled with tired well earned sleep.

Best of all, while I haven't gotten fear out of the car altogether, I do have him locked in the trunk....

So many emotions in life - so many good ones. 
Try to move fear to the bottom of the list (or into the trunk!) whenever you can.

10 comments:

BumbleBeeLane said...

Well said sweet Issy! Warm Blessings!~Amy

Humble Heart Designs said...

I'm sure a lot of us can relate. I sure can! Thanks for sharing!!
Pat

Angela Cruz-garcia said...

Wow...just wow.

I always walk away from one of your posts reminded that I can be a better me.

Thank you,
Angela

gracie said...

Always a good read...your blog is!

TheCrankyCrow said...

Ahhh....so comforting to know that others also have "junk in their trunks...." Why is it that, when I come here, I feel I've come to a place and sat at a table with someone who knows me???? You, my dear Issy, are a treasure. And I hope...with renewed fervor, that that book be written. Smiles & (Fearless) Hugs ~ Robin

Bovey Belle said...

What a wonderful piece of writing. Fear has the most strength around 3 a.m. in the morning, by lunchtime he is having to jump up and down to be noticed.

I will show this to my eldest daughter, who arrives this afternoon to stay for a few days. It will strike a resonance with her, I know . . .

Florida Farm Girl said...

Good for you!!! I agree, our whole society is ruled by that "what if" fear. I hate the news and such for the same reasons.

Country Girl said...

Oh my word. You are so brave.

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