In July 1999, while in New York for my brother’s wedding, my aunt & I stopped to shop in the World Trade Center. She pushed for the $20 elevator ride to the top, but I balked.
“I’m scared of heights,” I admitted. “I mean, it’s not like I think I’m going to fall off the building if we go up there, but I’d be too terrified to enjoy it.”
“Once you’ve had brain surgery,” she replied, referring to a tumor she’d had removed a few years earlier, “nothing scares you.”
As I stared at the Twin Towers, I hoped she’d never endure nothing more frightening than that growth in her brain. Sadly, that wasn’t the case, as her health problems dwindled in comparison to events the following May. Her son, my cousin, went missing, and has never been found. He is presumed to have been murdered.
And of course, just two years later, those buildings we shopped under and gazed upon collapsed under the force and heat of two jet airplanes that had deliberately been flown at horrific speed straight into them.
I don’t live in fear of events like those on a daily basis, although clearly they can and do happen, but living without the awareness and respect for what life can bring you on any scale seems foolhardy.
Is fear holding you back is a legitimate question, but one that should be coupled with, is that fear a safety measure or a roadblock? If you aren’t pursuing your dreams because the risk greatly outweighs the reward, then consider the fear a gift. Not all dreams are golden opportunities waiting for you to have the courage to make them come true. Some are escapist fantasies with little basis in reality.
At different points in our life, when our responsibilities shift and change, we have a greater or lesser tolerance for risk. Some of us, quite frankly, aren’t good at “jumping off cliffs.” There needs to be some stability in our decisions or we fall apart before the outcome of our decision is determined.
Others thrive on risk, the fear is a motivator, a fuel that sends them from one adventure to another.
We all land somewhere on a tolerance spectrum of risk vs. reward, and as appealing as the phrase “let go of your fears” may be, not all of us should do just that. Our fears can be our friend, not because they rule us, but because they guide us.
Respect yourself, respect your fears, but respect the proper opportunities before they go by, as well. Life is a balancing act.
Photos courtesy Pixabay
4 Replies to “On the Balance, Fear is an Equal Weight”
I believe strongly in how words make me feel. The word “fear” holds a very contracted energy for me. Fear sets up roadblocks and isn’t really rational. I think “caution” is a far word to consider. Fear is something I want to overcome. Caution is the guide that can be helpful – it usually comes with experience. Nice, thought-provoking post, as usual, Belinda. 🙂
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I hear what you’re saying. and I think our life experiences affects how we experience certain words. To me, fear can be reasonable or irrational, and I think what I consider to be “reasonable fear” you might call “caution.” Thank you for understanding what I was trying to say.
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Thanks for reading my blog and so thought I’d swing by yours – and what a treat. Thoughtful, measured and balanced. I especially liked “as appealing as the phrase “let go of your fears” may be, not all of us should do just that” – Not all of us should do just that is the key for me as often people will “jump” at a decision and it’s not the right time or place. So good to be reminded of that. So thanks and I’ll be back :0)
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Thank you! and thank you for “swinging by.” I enjoy your blog as well!