I’ve already written a post about fear. But I feel I want to write once more. First of all, because recently fear accompanied me quite a lot. And secondly, because a lot of people ask me about fear. Weren’t your scared? Aren’t you afraid? And when I answer: “Of course, yes”, people react with disbelief, but also relief. Ah, so others fear as well.
Of course they do! I was frightened before coming to Brazil. It’s not the first time I’m going to a completely new place, but I felt some kind of fear in every part of my body and mind. I was afraid that without an onward ticket they would not let us enter the plane or they wouldn’t give us visa. I was scared about spending the night in Rio airport. And I was really panicking before going to Rio itself, after all those conversations with people who warned us how dangerous this city is. And it doesn’t matter how many places described as dangerous I have visited before.
But I was scared also earlier. When we were sleeping in the tent during Camino, I kept scrolling in my mind all those horror movies I’d watched before (fortunately not so many) and the atlas of wild animals opened on the page of the savage beasts. When we hitchhike, sometimes I kill the time imagining all the worse case scenarios. And I have a really big imagination. ;)
In general, I believe that it’s not about being or not being scared. Fear, as any other emotion, is needed. I accept it, but I don’t allow it to rule me. Fear should serve me, not the opposite. I make the conscious decision of keep going, doesn’t matter how many dark trips I play in my head. Of course, I listen to it sometimes: there are places I don’t go, people I don’t follow, things I don’t do. But all in all, it’s not so often. I try to observe my fear to distinguish important warning from imaginary one. It’s not easy. It’s not always working. I’m learning to observe my fear from a distance. Notice it, when it comes. Understand what it wants to tell me. I’m also telling openly that I’m scared. I warn (especially Andrea) that I’m afraid and this can influence my reactions. I name my fear. Sometimes I try to imagine how it looks like. Where it lies in my body. Noticed, appreciated, fear loses some of its power. It becomes a companion, but not a boss. The one which advices, but not rules.