Today's word may seem strange in a blog called "Words to Live By." But something happened last week that reminded me we all deal with fear of one sort or another.
Our rescued big dog, Brody, was abused, pretty seriously it appears (is there any other kind of abuse besides serious?? probably not!) before he came to live with us last year. He is afraid of anything waving over his head like sticks, hands, or anything just in his "air space." A fly followed me in from the garage one evening last week and while sitting at dinner, I noticed it on the kitchen counter. I ran and got the fly swatter and "bam!" He was gone. And so was Brody. I didn't realize that he was behind me when I picked up the fly swatter and the noise and motion scared him to pieces. He bolted for his chair (yes, he has his own chair) in the living room, tail between his legs and ears down. I was mortified that I had caused that fear. Of course, I went to him and talked softly while petting him gently. It took him a solid day to get over his fear yet again - and he's probably not really over it.
Our rescued crippled kitty, Grover, in the picture above, has his own kind of fear. He can't walk, so he is afraid of loud noises or "big shapes" coming at him. His eyes get big and he starts "scampering" as best he can, making hardly any forward progress. It's hard to watch him knowing he knows he is so vulnerable.
Our furkids both have "physical"-type fears, don't they? But for many of the human species, there are a host of other fears we have to deal with. Health fears...after a visit to the dermatologist today, I was relieved to find that the spot I feared was cancer is not. A later visit to the ophthalmologist, where I was expecting a routine report, brought a different kind of fear as the doctor explained that I am getting higher in the "glaucoma risk" category and it is time to begin medication. I am NOT a medication kinda gal. But the thought of losing my eyesight creates a lot more fear than a measly old eye drop twice a day, so that will be my new normal - and all future appointments with that doctor will likely be tinged with a bit of fear over what my "pressure reading" will indicate this time.
And I'm sure my husband has some deep-seated fears about his continual health challenges after his tongue cancer - the treatments, as some of you know, have created other hurdles that can be scary.
Other fears might have to do with finances - most of us can relate to having those fears at one time or another. And the way the media keeps telling us how we should all be afraid for our futures, it's a given that it can float to the top of our minds, even when things are somewhat quiet on that front. Being self-employed, my thoughts can turn to fear at the drop of a hat - or the drop of an email telling me a program is cancelled for one reason or another. That's my income and it's not pleasant to have someone snatch it away!
Some people fear public speaking - even me! I do that for a living and yet when I had to give a speech in my graduate class last year, I froze for a few seconds. I had not had the time to practice and prepare the way I would have liked and the fear of my entire grade for that course resting on this one 6-minute presentation simply shut me down. I recovered and did okay in the class, but the fear was real.
Others fear being alone when they get older or driving in busy places. Some of us are still afraid of the dark or of being embarrassed in public.
The point is, as I'm sure you've figured out, that most of us deal with some sort of fear. The question is, will you control your fear or allow it to control you?
Let me know what you think at the email address shown below. I love to hear from you!