I awoke this morning to the sound of a rumble. As I lay in bed, I pondered what it was and concluded it must have been a truck down on the highway. Although we aren’t very close to the highway, in the stillness of the morning air, sound does carry.
I got out of bed and wandered to the bathroom at the other end of the house so as not to disturb my still sleeping family. As I did, I heard the rain begin to fall quite heavily outside and then blow against the windows.
Another rumble blew my truck theory right out the window.
As I opened the curtains in our laundry and stood looking out at the flickering sky and enjoying the beauty of nature, I heard the Diva begin meowing as she dashed from place to place within the house.
At first I didn’t understand what was going on with her but then it dawned on me….. She is scared of storms.
I watched as she darted here and there with each new rumble and flash of light seeking refuge from the noisy unknown.
My attempts to calm her were in vain. Thankfully the early morning storm was short lived.
She has never quite understood storms because in her universe (that exists inside the four walls of our home), storms are not a natural occurrence.
Loud noises that accompany storms are rare in the safety of her world. Loud noises are rare in her world – full stop.
So, unfortunately when storms come, they bring strange smells, lights and noises with them and these things upset the status quo in her world.
When I was a child, I held the same fears as the Diva. Although I didn’t meow and run from room to room when there was a thunder storm, I shivered and cried. I recall being quite young and standing with my father at the french doors that led onto the patio one evening during a typical Queensland thunderstorm and watching the lightning with him. He showed me how to count between the flash of light and the ensuing rumble of thunder to work out how far away the storm was. Generally the storms were too far away to hurt me and anyway, I was safe inside the house.
Over the years, I have learned to love thunderstorms and appreciate the beauty and the ferocity of nature. They are no longer to be feared because I have learned that they are natural and an inevitable part of the weather systems. They are no longer unknown and because of that, they hold no fear for me.
Fearing what we do not know is ingrained within us. Anything different engenders within us the ‘fight or flight’ response. History is riddled with instances of bad things happening because of fear – both real and imagined.
History also shows that much good can come from those who conquered their fears and went on to do great things.
Conquering fear is not about stupidity and false bravado. Conquering fear takes faith. Faith in a higher power and faith in yourself.
As a turtle, I stuck my neck out in order to move forward. In four weeks time, my safety net will fall away and I am scared.
I am frightened of the unknown.
But I will step forward and what is unknown now will be known to me at the right time.
I refuse to let my fear of the unknown conquer me.