Haanel opens this week’s reading saying: “Fear is a powerful form of thought. It paralyzes the nerve centers, thus affecting the circulation of the blood. This, in turn, paralyzes the muscular system, so that fear affects the entire being, body, brain and nerve, physical, mental, or muscular.”
As I read this, my mind went back to those times in my life when I experienced fear. There are so many….Starting in my childhood when I was in fourth grade and there was a war between fourth and fifth grade. It seemed that everyday was an occasion to experience fear. I can’t remember how or why the animosity began but I can remember that I tried with all my might to avoid being alone. Before I continue my story I think it would be appropriate to look at one definition of fear. fear is: An anxious feeling, caused by our anticipation of some imagined event or experience. So in this particular situation my fear was an anticipation that I would suffer physical harm or ridicule at the hands of some individuals of the fifth grade who by the way should had been in sixth grade. It was imaginary because it had never happened to me but it was real because I had seen others go thru that experience. Experts usually tell us that there is two things that can happen when we experience fear. They talk about fight or flight. In other words either we take action against the cause of the fear we are experiencing or we run away from it.
My reaction to this fear was to flee which cause me to have the beginning of low self-esteem, which was compounded by the fact that I was always being made fun because I was overweight. This feeling of being a coward eventually pushed me to the edge. One day the object of the ridicule was my best friend since first grade who was not one to chicken out from a fight, and fight he did. I don’t know how but the next thing I remember was that I was on top of this kid, who learned really quick that fat kids can be a problem when they are on top of you. Next thing I know my shirt was ripped off of me and I was facing the big-mean-dumb-bully who I had being fearing all this time. The only difference is that I didn’t run. I went at him with everything I had. As I ran towards him he struck me with his fist in my mouth but it was too late because the impulse I had made me fall on top of him. On the ground the battle was mine, weight has his advantages. So there is where a teacher found me, with a death grip on his neck. After that things changed in school. I was still the fat boy but now they new that I didn’t fear them any more.
The next time I remember experiencing fear was after my grandfather past away. Everyone that I loved was going to die, talk about an imaginary event, but to me it was real. The fact that my dad had to get on a plane at least twice a week compounded the fear of him dying. Every day he was flying I remember kissing him like it would be the last time. From our apartment in Madrid I could see the runways on a clear day. One early morning there was a heavy thick fog and two planes crashed on the runway. This is how Wikipedia describes the accident.
On 7 December 1983, a Boeing 727 of Iberia (Spain’s state airline) registered EC-CFJ, operating Iberia Flight 350, a scheduled flight to Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport, was cleared for take-off from Madrid-Barajas Airport’s Runway 01 in conditions of thick fog. At the same time, a DC-9 of Aviaco registered EC-CGS, operating Aviaco Flight 134, was taxiing to the end of the same runway for take-off bound for Santander Airport. As the Boeing 727 rolled along the runway, the crew of the DC-9 accidentally made a wrong turn in the fog and taxied their aircraft onto the runway, into the path of the 727. The crew of the 727 saw the DC-9 and attempted to avoid the collision by rotating their aircraft for lift-off, however the 727 had not reached flying speed and its rear fuselage struck the DC-9. Both aircraft caught fire and were destroyed; all 42 persons on board the DC-9 were killed, while 51 (50 passengers, 1 crew member) of the 93 on board the Boeing 727 were killed. Among those killed in the DC-9 was Fanny Cano, a Mexican actress. Among those killed on the Boeing 727 was South African pianist Marc Raubenheimer.
I remember just hearing the sounds of the emergency vehicles. My heart beating in my chest. My dad was schedule to return that morning from Santander. At the time of the accident I didn’t know at what time he was flying back and I feared the worst. The irony of the whole thing was that the Aviaco plane was the one that was supposed to bring him home from Santander. I struggled with the fear of death for years. I never told anyone. Eventually the fear disappeared.
Fast forward 10 years, I am now living in the U.S.A. in Tampa, Florida. I had been a few months since I came from Spain. I was a guest at my aunt’s house until I could get my own place. Can’t remember what time of the morning it was exactly but I do remember the feeling for the first time of being waken up by sudden fear. I heard my uncle scream ‘How did you get in my house?’ As I jumped out of the second level of the bunk bed I was sleeping in, I heard the noise of the physical struggle between my uncle and the intruder. I opened the door to my room and took off running towards them. I tackled the intruder by the waist and took him down landing on top of him. I remember striking his face as hard as I could which was a shocker to me because in the few fights I had ever been involved in I never hit anyone in the face. Is just not in my nature. As the guy started crying I realized he stunk like alcohol. I dragged him to the door and threw him out. This was definitely a fight not flight reaction. Later we found out that this guy lived around the corner in a house that was exactly like my uncle’s. The poor guy thought he was in his house.
Why am I telling you all this? Well, I could tell you a few more stories where is evident that there is different kinds of fear. I now know that my conditioning is to fight instead of flee in the presence of perceived physical harm, the little scared boy I was, is no longer there, or is it? What happens when the fear, is fear to disappoint those who trust you to lead them? Well that is the fear I am battling now, and unlike all my previous battles, this one, is one that is kicking my …. In my current endeavor, Network Marketing your success depends on making others a success, and there lies my fear. I can deal with someone telling me ‘no’ to the opportunity but my biggest fear is that they would say ‘yes’ and I wouldn’t be able to make them a success because of my own limitations. It is easier to stay as I am and not have to get out of my comfort zone and grow. So there is another reaction to fear, is called inaction. Like a deer in front of the headlights.