Saturday, August 17, 2013

Fear Factors

I used to be afraid of the dark.  Terrified, actually.  When the lights went out, mysterious shadows would morph into the frightening shape of a stranger lurking in the corner of my room.  Just outside my bedroom door, eery footsteps ever so quietly crept up and down the antique metal staircase.  I would lay in bed and study every sound: the creaks and moans as the house settled over the years seemed to mimic that of an old woman, aching in pain.  And somewhere, out in the distant hills surrounding the fences of my childhood home, packs of coyotes yipped and howled upon hunting their prey.

At night, I would face these fear factors as best and for as long as I could; often surrendering in defeat and would make the terrifying lap through the house to my parents bedroom.  Yes, for much of my childhood, I was so very afraid

It's funny how those memories stay with me.  I've been on my own for a long time now.  And as an adult, I have come to understand certain overcoming fear-factors that have stamped out the paralyzing grip of terror that plagued me for so long.  

I realize that turning out the lights actually improves your ability to see in the darkness.  The uncomfortable momentary blackness gradually dissipates as your eyes adjust.  In fact, any small trickle of light actually impairs this process from happening.  

And the creepy footsteps I heard tip toeing up and down the metal staircase?  Upon a thorough investigation, I realized that the air conditioning vent was directly above it, causing the stairs to shudder and vibrate each time the system kicked on.  It made that sound all the time in fact, I just hadn't noticed it in the light of day.  

As for those pesky coyotes? Well, they still yipped and howled through the night, but I realized that those fences were actually pretty sturdy and as a matter of fact, so too were the creaking walls of our home.  

I faced these fears and overcame each one as I empowered my senses to seek out and destroy the various forces that I had initially perceived to be indestructible.  

And I was no longer afraid. 

There are dark forces that we face throughout our lives.  The unfortunate part of life is the inevitable way fear creeps back in.  Once you stamp out the fears of your youth, a new wave of fear comes lurking at your doorstep.  Perceived fears can be just as debilitating as the ones you might encounter in some back alley, walking alone in the dark. 

But there is one thing I know without a shadow of a doubt to be true: if you empower yourself to see things for what they actually are, rather than whatever you perceive them to be, you will then have enough facts to face them head on and stamp them out if necessary.  

If you are perceivably stuck in an abusive situation: whether it's a certain abuse of power in the workplace or in the home, you can empower yourself to safely and effectively locate the nearest exit and take the necessary steps to walk through it. 

When someone abuses the authority or leadership you have entrusted them with by demeaning, shaming and/or outright bullying you, I say that you have a choice to face this fear monger head on and decide your fate: you can empower fear, or you can empower yourself

But make no mistake about it, you DO have a choice.  You can either live as a hostage because you are too afraid to confront the spider, or you can ambush the little bastard and eliminate the threat of being bitten.  Either scenario is quite scary: but only one releases you from the grip of fear. 

I'm not suggesting that the perceived obstacles you might face are not real factors to consider: oftentimes they are in fact the most difficult to overcome.  What I am suggesting here is to examine the root feelings associated with each one and gather up all the facts.  Then, when your eyes have adjusted and you can see through the darkness, you'll be ready to confront the monster lurking in the shadows.  Even the smallest object can cast an enormous shadow; it's a matter of perception. 

Respect yourself enough to adequately measure your worth: the quality of your life, of your health and happiness.  If what you are being served isn't serving that aim, then I suggest that you face these fear factors head on.  

Removing the factor of fear from this equation could most certainly equal an outcome far greater than you had ever imagined possible.  Life is far too precious to be confined by our fears. 

Bullies, abusers, thieves, spiders, monsters beware: I can see you creeping in the darkness, but I'm not scared because I know that you are right where you belong. I have made my choice; so be afraid... be very, very afraid.   


Frankenstein Cocktail

1 oz Black Haus Blackberry Schnapps
1 oz Midori Melon Liqueur 
1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
shake and strain into a martini glass


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