False Evidence Appearing Real
Fear is a thief; stealing your energy and creativity and leaving you despondent. Conversely, it can be the tool that sharpens your perception and propels you to success as you use the edge of fear to sharpen the blade of faith.
I was recently in a group and was asked what I’m afraid of. Most people’s answers were surface and focused on things like spiders, roaches and snakes. The more serious answers pertained to loss; loss of health or loss of a loved one. I wasn’t able to give a quick answer as I realized that my fear is more a formless shadow without a name. I’ve been peering at that shape to discern the form that casts the shadow.
To my way of thinking, fear is like a dense, creeping fog. It can make you feel totally alone and incapable of action. I’m reminded of a story I once heard about an open-water swimmer by the name of Florence Chadwick. In her sport, swimming the English Channel is quite an accomplishment; equivalent to the feat of climbing Mount Everest for a climber. Florence had not only successfully swam across the English Channel (about 20 miles in frigid water), but she’d successfully navigated the Channel in both directions. Next, she set her sights on becoming the first woman to swim from Catalina Island to the coast of California. Her attempt began on July 4, 1952 in a dense fog. The water was freezing cold and shark- infested. After 16 hours of swimming in the frigid water, she was pulled into the boat only a half-mile from shore. Even though her trainer was in the accompanying boat shouting encouragement to her, it was the fog that deterred her. She was utterly exhausted and couldn’t see her goal. The fog had totally obscured her vision.
Fear is like that fog. I’ve heard it said that the acronym for fear is False Evidence Appearing Real. The good news is that when the sun comes out, fog is burned off and dissipates. Courage is like the sun and the heat it emits is the action which restores clarity and focus.
It seems to me that we’ve come through a season when many have been lost in the fog. The sun is coming up on a new day. I’ve got a great view of the sunrise at my place and room for you to join me.
Note: This post was the result of some “mulling” I’ve done since Michelle over at Scribbit put out the October writing challenge on the subject of Fear. I always love a challenge to write.