You Can’t See Fear

Our five senses serve us really well. They keep us out of danger. We don’t touch a hot stove because we can see the burner is on. We don’t eat spoiled food because we can smell that it’s bad.

What about the things that we can’t see, can’t hear, can’t smell? That’s fear. Can you see fear? Taste it? Smell it? Hear it? No.

You can see what might be scary like whitewater while you’re out canoeing. You might get a bad taste in your mouth as you approach the rapids. That’s your body’s emotional response releasing hormones because you’re scared.

You can see the situation – the whitewater – but you can’t see fear itself.  If you’re being chased by a rabid dog, you can see the object of your fear, the dog, but you can’t see the actual fear.

Why is that?

Fear Isn’t Real

Because fear isn’t real! Only the situation is. And sometimes even that is imagined because we’re just afraid that it might happen.

It sure feels that way. Our body sure pumps out hormones making our pulse race, our breathing shallow and our eyes dilated. That’s a response to something in our head.

Even if you had a rabid dog chasing you doesn’t mean he’ll catch you and bite you. That’s your fear. What if a bus comes by and hits him first? It could happen.

A few years ago, there was a rabid coyote circling our neighborhood and adjoining park. From the city I’d hear stories of a woman jogger being attacked or a dog being eaten. I’m a woman and I walk my dog often. I could be a target. Was I? No.

Why not?

Luck of the draw?

Don’t Live in Fear

Possibly. But also, I didn’t live in fear over it. My husband grew up frequenting his grandpa’s ranch so he’s more familiar with animal behavior than I am. When we heard the news of the rabid coyote, I asked my husband what are my options if I see it?

He said honestly: not good. If you run, the coyote will chase you. If you don’t run, he might still attack me or the dog because he’s rabid and not thinking clearly. The only thing he suggested was to avoid walking at dawn or dusk, which I generally don’t do anyway, since that’s when normal coyotes are out. But this one wasn’t normal. Avoiding those times of day might help, but it certainly wasn’t a guarantee.

Over the years we’ve both seen coyotes in our alley. From that experience I know normally they don’t bother you. They don’t want to be around you as much as you don’t want to be around them. But rabid is a different story.

What Are Your Options?

Then I had two choices. Stay inside for however long until he’s caught, which could be weeks or months. Or go for a walk anyway.  You could say I was being foolish by continuing to walk. Then so were countless other neighbors who were also outside during this time. I can’t speak for them, only me. I had no clue whether they even knew there was a rabid coyote on the loose. I did. So, what did I intend to do about it?

Since I decided to go walking anyway knowing my chances of surviving an attack weren’t good if I ran across that coyote, I needed a back-up plan in addition to times of day which was iffy at best. I doubt pepper spray would work. Even if it did, he’d have to be pretty darn close to spray him. Too close for my comfort. I don’t have a gun permit nor do I want one so that was out. Calling 9-11 wouldn’t be fast enough. What’s left?


Yep, the big T-R-U-S-T.

I had to trust that the Universe would take care of me and that I wouldn’t run across that coyote.

Use Your Judgement

Most of us aren’t aware of the life plan that we created before we incarnated. Our life plan includes when and how we die. Typically, we come up with a few options just in case. I don’t know what my ending will be, nor do I want to. Somehow, though, I figured getting eaten by a coyote wasn’t part of my plan. At least that’s what I was banking on. So, I used the only other tool left in my toolbox – trust.

In this case the fear inducing situation was real. It was a real possibility of being attacked. The object of fear could be seen – the coyote. But not my fear. Because fear itself isn’t real. Only the situation is.

If you’re in a fearful situation then you have to trust in your abilities to get you out of it. If you could be in a fearful situation like I potentially was, then you have to trust that you won’t be in that situation.  And if you did end up in it, you’d still have to trust yourself to get you out of it.

If I were ex-military, I would have some self-defense tools that I currently don’t have. But I’m not. Maybe an ex-Marine could survive a rabid coyote and live to tell, but I couldn’t. My best bet was to not get in that situation. That’s where the trust comes in – trust that I won’t run across that rabid coyote.

That was a few years ago and I’m still here. Trusting worked out well for me.

Have a Plan

Last week I discussed worry and my low gas tank. Running out of gas is a fearful situation because you don’t know where you’ll be when it happens. Again, you can’t see the fear, just the situation. I trusted in my judgement that I’d make it home ok and I did.

You may not be able to see the fear, but you can see the fearful situation. That’s when you trust and have a plan. My plan was trusting and avoiding certain times of day (trusting that would work!). Sometimes, though, we need a little more than that. Say for example that your company is having lay-offs and you’re scared that you’ll be laid off.  What do you do?

First, trust that you won’t be. But since it’s out of your control, second, have a plan. Start looking for another job or put your feelers out. That’s just good common sense.  Some would say that if you want to ensure that you don’t get laid off, don’t even look for another job because that’s creating doubt.

That’s true, it can create doubt, if you let it. Personally, I see it as being proactive. You don’t have to look too hard, but don’t get caught off-guard either. Knowing you could get another job in the case of a lay-off takes the pressure off. The fear goes away because there’s nothing to fear. Either way, you’ll be fine. It beats being in constant fear and not being able to sleep at night. If you end up getting laid off, at least you’ve been looking. You’re ahead of the curve.

The same tactic used for worry can be used for fear. If this were to happen, what am I going to do about it? Have a plan. Most importantly, trust yourself to know what to do if the situation should arise.  That’s what I was counting on if I ran across that coyote. I had no clue what I’d do, but I put my trust in myself that I’d figure it out at the time if I had to. It was better than staying inside being scared for months.

Thankfully our lives aren’t like action movies where some incredible things happen. I know that if I were in some of those situations, I would most likely be toast. I don’t know how to fight or use a gun or any weapon for that matter. The good news is, my life, like yours, is not an action movie. I don’t have to worry about some bad guys chasing me in a dark alley and hoping I’ll get out alive. Take that fear off of the list.

It’s the normal, every day fears that most of us have. If you have a plan, you can deal with those too. Most importantly, trust yourself to know what to do if the situation should arise, especially if you don’t have a plan. And just a word to the wise: don’t do scary things that you don’t know how to do! Don’t jump out of an airplane without some basic training.  😊

If you’re not sure that you trust yourself, then trust your intuition. If you’re not if you’re hearing your intuition, I’ll show you how!

If you want to learn how to listen to it, how to talk to it and how to trust it by CLICKING

Once you start listening to your intuition, you’ll be amazed how much your life clicks into place. Then you can truly start enjoying yourself and get what you want out of life!

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