By Lisa Bondarenko – Mind Heart Body
Lets talk about a little four letter word that often gets missed out in general conversation and from social media posts…
F.E.A.R. False Evidence Appearing Real…don’t ever quote that to someone who is in the throws of it by the way!
Today we flew home from a very quick trip to Queensland. As I was having my cup of tea at 7am watching the news, there was a report that Adelaide was about to get smashed with gale force winds and there was warning out across the state…gulp…I know what that means for planes with my experienced pilots hat on …guaranteed turbulence. I could feel my temperature rising. I am not going to water my confession down, I HATE flying, like HATE and yet I do a lot of it, all over the globe in fact because I refuse to let it conquer me. But….it ain’t pretty!
Why am I afraid – well the truth is I have had my fair share of very, very stressful and bad flights, aborted landings, turbulent hours that involved passengers screaming and crying,(not me of course) all good evidence for my angst, oh and lets not talk about missing Malaysian Airlines etc.
As we were meandering the runway the pilot decided to introduce himself and inform us that our two hour flight was now going to take an extra fifty minutes due to bad weather conditions – insert palm sweating and heart racing…and then the kicker “at around one hour twenty five minutes we are likely to hit a large portion of turbulent, north easterly, pressure something something, hemisphere something something, cold front frost out something something, seat belts on at all occasions, lets hope for the best something something , I think we are stuffed something something – thank you for flying Virgin”
I felt like knocking on his door and saying “seriously, why – why did you have to do that?” I don’t know about anyone else but I don’t want preparation of an hour and a half waiting for hell. Just hit me up as we are about to go into it. My hubby turns and says “babe just start stressing when it happens, why waste the next 90 minutes worrying?”
Fair call for a non fear based experience. Absolutely, makes sense. That’s the thing about fear, it is mostly irrational and based on something that is “looming” or a memory attached to it. I have heard it all before. I have spoken with pilots, my hubby graces me with his engineering and aero nautical logic and knowledge regularly – I know the wings can bend people….oh and lets not forget the statistics….pfffftttt…..but when fear has taken hold, information holds no weight. So telling me to “let it go”, or “when your time is up its up” hmmmm seriously, NOT HELPFUL!
So 80 minutes passed and I felt like my nervous energy had chewed threw a weeks worth of potassium, I suffer in silence, no-one would know looking on as I am very composed – oh but the internal…another story. 95 minutes …still nothing…..two and half hours down and Im still hanging on waiting… We then begin the descent into the blackness of the clouds,hubby says “babe I think now you need to distract yourself, its coming” I felt like I couldn’t feel my legs, breathing rapidly holding onto my three year old who was OBLIVIOUS. I kept looking at him thinking two things: I wish I was him, no fear. And secondly, I don’t want to teach him about this fear; fear and anxiety is handed down often from parents and I do not like, DO NOT want to pass this on to him.
So I smile and hold his hand and win an academy award! #yourwelcomebaby
But guess what….the weather NEVER came, not an ounce of turbulence and before I knew it we were landing.
So since 7am I was living in the maybe, what if’s, and dancing in the ocean of anxiety and fear – what a waste. I could berate myself for my “inability” to get over it. This is not a new fear. I work really hard on my mind, choices and decisions to ensure it doesn’t rob me, but it is very very real for me. Every one of us has fear, multiple even. Flying is common I am told, but failure, commitment, change, death, grief, speaking in public and then those weird and colourful phobias that I can’t even spell just to name a few.
There is nothing sadder watching someone living below their capability or limiting options based on fear and anxiety. It cripples, paralyses even the strongest which has ripple effects across husbands, wives, children, families, communities, opportunities, and life experiences. There really are only two options for any of us when it comes to this four letter word.
First, let it win. Second, don’t. Which one are you choosing?