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Sunday, June 6, 2010

On Fear

This past weekend, I stayed at a beach motel with a couple of friends. On the last night, we all decided to walk over to the beach to relax and play music. After being out for 20 minutes or so, the lightning storms that were in the distance were suddenly directly over us. The lightning was a little too close for comfort, so we grabbed our things and headed back to the motel.

About an hour later, there was still lightning, but it seemed farther off. Three of my friends wanted to go back to the beach to watch the lightning, but I was hesitant to go. I was downright scared of the lightning-beach-water-(just complete open area) combination, so I was not going to go. Nevertheless, I changed my mind last minute and decided to accompany them.

By the time we got to the beach, I noticed that the lightning was so far out to sea that it could not even be heard; only the sound of the ocean surf remained. The sight was absolutely beautiful, and we watched for over an hour as the lightning flashed in the distance and drifted farther and farther away. The sky would be black one moment, and the next it would flash into mixtures of orange, white, and purple (I was a little bummed that I forgot my camera).

My lesson from this little story is to know when fears are quantified and when they are unreal and holding you back. When the lightning forst came, the fear was justifiable. The second time, however, there was no danger, as the agent causing the fear was far away. Had I listened to my fear at that point, I would have missed out on an amazing opportunity.

So, take time to dissect your fears. Which ones are real? Which ones are paranoia? Even better, which ones have passed (Are clowns really as scary as they were when you were 5?)? By overcoming unjustifiable fears, especially those in which the agent causing the fear is far away (i.e. the lightning), you will most likely find something beautiful or new.

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