Throughout my life, fear has never held me back. I've always embraced challenges head-on, feeling the fear and doing it anyway. But as I've grown older, I've noticed a shift in my perception of fear. A recent incident during an early evening walk with Jorge through the woods made me realise just how much my relationship with fear is changing. I want to explore this new awareness in this blog post and share my thoughts.
A walk into fear
(please forgive me for bringing my storytelling instincts to bear in this section and the longish videos)
The other evening, I made the decision to take Jorge for a walk, just like any other night, but later than our normal time. Our walks typically take around an hour, and this time we ventured out roughly an hour before dusk, when the first tendrils of darkness would begin their creeping descent. An unsettling feeling clawed at me, and I couldn't help but concoct contingency plans in case of an attack. I dismissed the sinking feeling in my stomach, hoping it was mere paranoia and pressed on.
by Audrey Finch-Robertson - into the woods at night
But as Jorge and I proceeded along our usual, deserted path through the now ominous woods, pervasive darkness seemed to envelop everything around us. The eerie silence, devoid of any cheerful bird songs, weighed heavily on my senses. An insidious uneasiness slithered through my veins, intensifying each step as if malevolent forces lurked just beyond the inky shadows. I forced myself to keep moving forward, compelled by some inexplicable force, though every fibre begged me to turn back.
The discomfort gnawed at me relentlessly, transforming what should have been an ordinary stroll into a nightmarish odyssey. I couldn't escape the relentless awareness of the potential dangers concealed in the shroud of darkness. It was an uncomfortable sensation, to say the least, and it forced me to pause and contemplate the haunting realisation that fear had taken a grip on me, casting a chilling pall over what should have been a simple walk in the woods.
I always take strength from the waterfall. It's not big, but it can get powerful after heavy rain, and it was in full throttle. I smiled, dismissing my fears as over active imagination. Then I turned the corner and saw the lights...
by Audrey Finch-Robertson - The terror of the lights
Shift in Perspective:
(normal service being resumed!)
This transformation in how I perceive fear is a shared experience, not unique to me alone. As the years pass, our outlook on risks and personal safety naturally undergoes a shift. The instinct for self-preservation grows more acute, leading to a heightened sense of caution. Furthermore, our priorities and perspectives evolve over time, prompting us to reevaluate our approach to various situations. This transformation is a fundamental aspect of the human journey.
Embrace the Evolution:
Rather than resisting this evolution, I have chosen to embrace it. I acknowledge that as I age, it's entirely acceptable to have an altered relationship with fear. It serves as a reminder of the importance I place on my well-being and those around me. While certain situations may now elicit a more cautious approach, I remain steadfast in my refusal to allow fear to immobilise me. It's about striking a delicate balance between wholeheartedly embracing life's adventures and taking the necessary precautions.
If you find yourself undergoing a similar shift in your perception of fear, consider these insights and strategies that may prove beneficial:
Assess Risks: Objectively evaluating the risks inherent in any given situation is imperative. Understanding these potential hazards empowers you to make informed decisions and take appropriate safety measures.
Trust Your Intuition: Place trust in your instincts. If something strikes you as amiss or unsafe, heed those inner signals. Our intuition often detects subtle cues that our conscious mind might overlook.
Seek Support: Do not hesitate to seek assistance when required. Whether you are venturing into uncharted territory or confronting specific fears, a strong support system can provide invaluable encouragement and guidance.
Change is an inexorable facet of life, and our relationship with fear is no exception. As we advance in years, our awareness of the risks surrounding us deepens. Embracing this transformation enables us to discover the equilibrium between prudence and bravery. Let us collectively navigate this ever-evolving bond with fear, embracing personal growth and perpetually pursuing our aspirations with unwavering determination.
All the best
PS - the lights were two people out for a late night bike ride, with no idea they had scared me.