“There are two kinds of fears: rational and irrational – or in simpler terms, fears that make sense and fears that don’t.”
― Lemony Snicket
Fear is that distressing feeling we get whenever we are faced with impending danger. And that’s a good thing, it propels us to either fight or flight, or both, whatever keeps us alive. That’s rational.
And then there’s the irrational, where one can get too carried away with fear. Something might have happened badly to us once upon a time that so traumatized us that every time we encounter that person, place, or thing (or anything similar), our mind recalls the bad event and we become fearful and try to avoid a repeat even though there is no rational reason to believe it will. The mental health folk call that a “phobia”. Some people even take it further, worrying themselves no end that the bad thing will happen again. The mental health folk call this “anxiety”.
I think all us have our fears, maybe one or two that rise to the level of phobia. Some make sense and some don’t. What matters is finding a way to deal with them without concocting and implementing avoidance strategies that only serve to complicate our daily lives, and how to stop worrying about them, how to stop being anxious.
My mother found her way to deal. There were always things in life she might have been concerned about and, where she could, she dealt with them. However, she (wise woman that she was) realized that most things that happen are not things we have any say in, things we can’t control, there’s nothing we can do about them, so why worry? Stuff in life happens.
And she knew that most things that we find worrisome will resolve themselves in time.
I’ve tried to adopt that philosophy and for the most part it has served me well. That doesn’t mean I don’t get fearful when something I think is bad and can’t either fight or run from threatens to happen. I just don’t worry when it does.
Because I’ve taken to heart my mother’s favorite expression, “And this, too, shall pass.”