FEAR, FEAR, IN MY HEART

Walking through this life, I often Stumble

Sailing through time, it makes me Tremble

Fears can’t be faced with a pinch of Salt

It Hampers my growth, but it’s not my Fault

Thorny and Barbed and Dry and Rough

I can walk no more, this road is tough

Days can be dark, nights can be darker

Fright Has no pattern, there is no Marker

Just know that it’s fine if you take a fall

If you conquer your fears and just stand tall

Yours can be a dog or a spider or a snake

Mine can be flowers or books or cake

I fear Doctors and Dying and Crowd

But that’s no reason that I can’t feel proud

You won’t know Freedom until you know a cage

Just overcome that horror, just turn that Page

For you are not alone in this battle that’s within

But just keep on fighting and never do Give in

You try and try, you try harder and you fail

You sob and you cry and you whine and you wail

“Fear is only as deep as the mind allows” they say

So snatch it by its neck and show it the Highway

You seek but none can help, it’s your own battle

These scares and these frights are your own chattel

So don’t show your back and run like a coward

Focus on your strengths and feel empowered

I would let you on a secret, on how to be Wise

F.E.A.R is an acronym for, Face Enemy And Rise!

EXPECTATIONS – MY GREATEST FEAR

“You must learn driving, it’s very important.  Go and clear driving theory test” my husband coax me every time he has to come to pick me up for important appointments and he runs late for his meetings.

I know he is right but can’t muster enough courage to give it a try after I failed my previous attempt just by two marks.  I am scared of one more failure that would put me in a tight spot.

Well if you ask me the reason I would say “Expectation“.  When I see people around me expect more and more out of me especially when there is a test of my capabilities and pair of eyes judging me, I fumble and finally crumble.  Huge expectations instill fear in me.

It happened numerous times in my life.  In school and college when my parents,  teachers and fellow students expected me to come out with flying colours (read topper) I secured a score which was not par excellence.

I felt cold sweat dampening my palms when I fail to explain a lesson properly or derive correct solution to a problem while teaching students because I knew they were expecting me to know everything, they paid me for my expertise.

I knew what was expected from me, was well prepared but the fear of failure, a question “what if I couldn’t match the bar set” made me develop cold feet.  Sleepless nights to restlessness to fall in appetite – these are few things that I experience when I have to deliver.

Even today the situation is no different.  Let me give you an example:  My husband thinks that I am really good in French as compared to him.   So high is the level of his confidence in me ( which I appreciate for sure) that he would hand over to me any official document and demand a translation so that we could proceed.  And when such demand has to be met instantly few thoughts flash in my mind ” what would happen if I fail to give an exact or nearly exact message?  He would surely question me what happened to your knowledge of language which you acquired in language classes. What would be my image hereafter if I fail now?” ( All these thoughts before finally resorting to Google Translate 😀).  But the fact is my knowledge is intermediate (this is in typical CV style).  I don’t have a vast  french vocabulary but I manage things confidently  when amidst complete strangers with no one to judge me.

Expectations reduce the joy of receiving”  it’s a well-known fact of life.  In my case it’s not an exception but I fear lest it would make me stand in a different light in the eyes of those who expected from me – perhaps as “Useless“.  I fear of being the reason of others’ unhappiness who kept their faith invested in me.

Who or what shall be blamed is my dilemma – Their expectations? My inability to deliver when it matters?  My constant battle to be perfect in others’ view of me?  Inability to relax and let things go and take their own course?

Will I ever be able to help myself ?  May be yes.  One thing I have realised so far is that my fear to deliver is a result of me trying to fill in every shoe or my own failure to compare with others the right way.  I have to inculcate confidence in myself.  I have to believe strongly that I am unique, something others might not be, something which is meant to be rejoiced.  I must take pride in the fact that people around me trust and expect me to perform.  I must stop seeking approval of everyone.  There’s no other way to break the shell of “Fear” around me.

But this self belief is definitely an uphill task for me.  And your support is indispensable.

Even now when I am penning down my innermost fears I am fearing how it would be received.

MAN’S BEST FRIEND, MY WORST FEAR

I came back home as I was scared of it and there was no one walking with whom I could have gone along till my department. My aunt and sisters asked “what happened… why have I come back…?” My answer was, “my friend will come and then I will go… I don’t want to go alone”. But they could make out from my face that something is wrong. They will keep teasing till I tell them the truth that there was a dog on the road and I was scared to cross it and walk ahead to my department. 😦

It will be unbelievable for you if I say that I love dogs yet I am very scared of them. Once I went to a relative’s house and their dog was small and so cute. I really wanted to hold it in my arms. But I didn’t dare that much… I just tried to caress it’s head with my palms… It gave me a friendly look. I was happy. I was almost there to touch it’s head when it barked at me. I jerked back and hit the back of my head on the wall scared of it though the bark was a friendlier one. It wagged it’s tail at me continuously but I never touched it again.

I really had a very bad experience with dog though I was unharmed. I was a teen when I went to take my guard to bat while my cousin was getting ready to bowl at me. I found there was a mother dog along with its puppies underneath a shade where we had made our wickets. This mother dog looked at me and growled at me gritting its canine teeth. I was scared to death. Without looking back at her I turned and ran towards my cousin calling his name. There was an aunt who came out and drove the dog away from me and I was saved from a sure shot dog bite that day. Thank God, I didn’t have that opportunity till now.

I always feel bad that I don’t have a dog myself. I crave to have one but huh… I am so scared of it that I suppress my desire within myself.

Cynophobia is the word that describes my fear. Now don’t laugh at me or tease me. I pity myself that I can’t hug a 🐕 but is scared of it.

I don’t know how to get rid of this fear. Probably as all other said before me that facing my problem might help me to get over it.

Keep reading… Good morning all.

THOSE CREEPY-CRAWLIES THAT MAKE YOU GO ‘YIKES!’

Do you cringe when you hear an owl screech in the dead of the night?

Do you yelp when you see a snake?

Do you hide under the blanket when you see a creepy branch rapping against the window,

Or jump on the bed when you see a spider/rat?

Of course, you do! Don’t be all brave and snobbish!

There is nothing, nothing wrong with being afraid of something or someone. It’s one of the most primal emotions known to mankind – fear, in fact to every species. A dog is scared of a bigger dog, a snake is scared of a mongoose, a lion is scared of man. Fear is often the only thing that is between survival and death. Then why hide behind a veneer of forced bravery?

Okay, it’s Monday morning. Let me not preach!

This week on Candles Online we are discussing Phobias and Fears. Since this is a Monday morning post (the week’s worst day), and since I’ve done some serious sharing on my real ‘fear of failing at writing’ in another blog post, I thought I’d spare you all the drama and start this week off on a lighter note.

So what’s my great big fear? Any guesses?

(Hint: It’s related to an animal)

It’s LIZARDS!!

Apparently, a fear of lizards is called Herpetophobia. So that makes me a Herpetophobic!

Yes, I have a morbid fear of them. I can’t tell you just how revolting the sight of their jaundiced skin is to me. To top it all, thrice in my life have I had their slithery bodies plopping onto me from some overhead crevice, the most recent incident being just a week back, and I nearly had a heart attack; my Fitbit recorded a heart rate of 165 bpm when that thing fell on me, I kid you not!

And as if that isn’t enough, I’m the butt of all lizard jokes in my family. Every time a lizard happens to be in the room, someone goes, ‘Oh, there’s a lizard lurking in that corner. Watch Pradita go bananas now!’ My husband has even captured me having a breakdown on account of a lizard in the kitchen on camera! Yes, I’m that lame.

Now onto the analysis part. One must ask why are we scared of itty-bitty creatures?  Can we not shoo away a lizard? Can’t we sweep away a spider or a cockroach? Can’t we trap a mouse? Yes, we can. But our fears take ahold of us and force an extreme reaction from us even for something as small and harmless as a spider. Some people are just born with it, but with most, it is because at some point of time, when we were growing up, we were exposed to a similar over-reaction from someone else and it became a part of our behaviour. It could also happen because we have been taught to be cautious of creepy-crawlies, because they are either disgusting or because they can bite/sting. So we developed a habit to react strongly since then because it got hard-wired into our brains.

As we attain adulthood such unnatural and senseless fears generally abate, but there are many, many out there (like me) who are just as scared of a bug as they were when they were five, some even requiring medical intervention. Granted some creepy-crawlies, like cockroaches, are carriers of disease, and lizards infact help you in getting rid of these pesky bugs from your home, but we still go berserk when we see them.

There is a scientific reason too for why we are afraid of these tiny creatures. It’s because our brains confuse disgust with fear; because both are strongly associated with something called the rejection response. As we humans evolved we incorporated this disgust-fear response into our behaviour. so it became a part of our ‘behavioural legacy’. That makes sense to me, considering how I think lizards are actually just disgusting rather than being fearsome, because really, what can they do to you, except scare the living daylights out of you when they detach their tails and freak you out. Yikes!

I’ll give you a real-life example. My daughter loves all kinds of animals. She calls lizards ‘Lizzy’ and when she started recognizing animals she had no qualms or fear about going after even the ickiest of bugs, like slugs and centipedes. She was unlike me in the presence of a lizard. But that changed over a period of time when she saw me over-reacting to lizards. Now she replicates my reaction when she sees a lizard and I hate myself for it because I’ve taught her to have an unnatural fear of these things instead of telling her calmly that she should be careful of them. Lesson learnt. Hopefully, I’ll undo the damage I’ve done in time, but parents beware, you may be passing on your fears to your children.

Coming back to the point of fear and how they affect us, the fear of bugs and icky things, laughable as it may be to some, can be quite crippling to those who suffer from it. I am unable to sleep in a room where I’ve found a lizard. There was an incident when I was in college, and a lizard was camping in the washroom of my paying guest accommodation, and I refused to go to the bathroom all night long, with the result that I had severe cramps the next morning that required painkillers. I have taught myself to control my unnatural fear and anxiety with regards Lizards, but I gave these examples to only remind us all that fears, even of the tiniest of creatures, are not a laughable matter when they start interfering with our normal lives. Extreme distress caused by these fears and phobias becomes a psychological disorder that requires treatment and therapy.

How do we prevent this from happening? In some cases, like where you just are afraid of such creatures, and they start to cripple your life, don’t be ashamed to seek help, you really can’t do anything else. But when you start getting those nasty panic attacks, breathe and tell yourself that they can’t harm you unless they come in contact with you (in case of those creatures that are disease carriers or sting/bite), and that in most cases, those poor creatures are more scared of us than we are of them!

Above all, do not, I repeat, DO NOT allow yourself to be humiliated or humiliate someone else for having these phobias. Remember every one of us has a fear of something. If we don’t, we’re liars.

I leave you with this quote by Tim Hoch –

Don’t be fearless, just fear less

Have a great Monday everyone!

 

Featured Image: ThuyHaBich at Pixabay

FEAR FROM SCHOOL HOMEWORK TO COLLEGE GIRLFRIEND!

Fear and Life co-exist. It’s not feasible for life to exist without fear. While I was doing a retrospection of my own life, I came across two major incidents in my life which I believe you might have been through too! One happened with me, when I was in School where life was running on routine and the other one happened with me, when I was in College where life moved as I wished.

School Homework: Yes, you read it right… its school homework. Throughout my schooling, I used to do my homework for the FEAR of being punished or being failed in the examination. The fear of punishment was the factor that forced me to finish my homework. When I look to the positive side of this fear factor, I learned a lesson. Doing homework for the fear of punishment disciplined my life as a student and helped me in my career path.

Without fear life will become rudderless, which is not only precarious for us but also for our fellow human beings. Fear, time and again disciplines us and safeguards our lives from erroneous consequences. It constricts us with certain parameters of life and makes us ‘Being Human’ instead of human being. Everyone with flesh, blood and mind is a Human Being but ‘Being Human’ is the one whose life is always safeguarded with ‘FEAR,’ in a positive sense.

College Girlfriend: Like most of the other guys I had a girlfriend during my graduation days at College. When I was in that relationship I dreamt many dreams with her which later became a grisly nightmare. After the break-up for many days, this grisly nightmare or my shattered dream became the fear factor with regards to trusting another person. I had that fear of failure whenever I found that a relationship had started to bloom.

The fear of that grisly nightmare always comes as an obstacle in front of me when I try to take a step ahead. But the hope keeps shouting behind, ‘go ahead, and do not fear’. Fear of our past mistake is annoying. We commit mistakes in order to learn and grow – not to fear and stop growing in life. Fear is always a dark cloud, which has to pass by but that does not mean we stop walking. There is always sunrise after sunset. So don’t fear your FEAR.

I would like to conclude this snippet with one note – When your fear brings  discipline, consider it. But when it brings hopelessness, don’t consider it, just overlook and keep moving till you reach your destination.