Know Fear

Posted: January 30th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

As Cancer Girl gazed into the Magic Mirror the two stubby glowing candles chimed in, “Wow, CG!” The taller of the two candles leaned towards her, “You’re really trimming down.” With his flame bobbing he said, “¿Cómo estás Mamacita?”

The shorter of the two nodded in agreement. Cancer Girl chuckled, “Thank you, fellas.” Then she sighed.

With concern in his voice the tall candle asked her, “What’s wrong, CG?”

As she put on her coat to leave she answered, “Just one last procedural fear to face. And this one almost ranks right up there with facing down EMRIN.” She forced a smile and then scooted out the door.

After the door shut the taller candle said, “She almost looked scared.” The shorter one stood up a little taller, “Yeah, but CG knows how to know fear.”


The entirety of being forced into a war with breast cancer seems to be all about fear. The fear of the disease itself; the choices it does or doesn’t leave you with in order to survive; the fear of making life altering decisions; the fear of going through life altering procedures; and, the fear it spreads throughout your entire world, especially for your loved ones.

If one doesn’t know how to deal with fear, fear in of itself, could eat your soul alive.

A fashion must-have?

Today I am having the last breast reconstruction procedure done. Dr. S, my plastic surgeon, will be tattooing on my areolas … or as I often call them, Oreo-lahs, as a way to remember how to pronounce areolas.

Here is where I admit to another seemingly irrational fear. Just about as badly as the one I had when getting the bilateral breast MRI done,  EMRIN Battle Day — I have been dreading getting these tattoos done.

You’d think the whole thing about chopping off both of my boobs, the bilateral mastectomy, would have scared the living buh-jeebers out of me — yet, it didn’t. By no means was I fearless — I just faced it down and tapped into it.

But ask me to shove myself into an MRI machine or get two little circular tattoos? Makes me want to do a cartoon-like shiver. For sure there’s some fear issues there to wrangle with. But, wrangle I will — because I’ve learned how to utilize fear. I now “know” fear.

"Dude! This is my master. Go find your own glove."

Fear, in of itself, is a vital survival tool. It’s what ensures the survival of the fittest. Without it, any given species on earth wouldn’t be ensured the best of it’s best to breed and perpetuate it’s species.

Fear, the fight or flight response, is part of our primal brain construct — our subconscious mind. But, we rarely need to have our primal brain launch us into a reflexive ‘you better start to run 90 mph or your butt’s gonna get chomped on by that lion!’ mode anymore. Now, it mostly seems to alert us about an urban danger or something that’s emotionally uncomfortable or an unknown.

We modern humans, however, often get all tangled up in fear. It seems we’ve forgotten what it’s supposed to do, how to best utilize it in our cement and metal jungle of a world.

Simply put, fear is a red flag alert to potential danger(s). But in our techno world, it often launches us into a state of  emotionally paralyzing red flag confusion. No matter how uncomfortable or rotten a known situation may be, our subconscious mind often keeps us trapped there — instead of venturing out into the unknown. It does not like the unknown. Period.

However, if we learn how to tap into fear, it can be a liberating tool. When you feel yourself feeling fearful of something? Stop. Take a step back, breath and then  objectively look at exactly what it is you’re afraid of.

Do you seriously need to haul butt, give proper respect to a situation? Or, are you just needing to face an insecurity or an emotional unknown?

Are the risks/consequences involved in facing this fear worth it? Will they potentially cause serious harm to yourself or to other people in your chunk of the Universe? Yet another “or” to ask yourself … Is facing the risks/consequences in your highest and best interest?

If it is indeed in your highest and best interest to stare down the fear? Then by all means, put one foot in front of the other, take one step at a time towards it.

We usually find ourselves wading through a myriad of excuses or reasons not to accomplish what ever steps are necessary to take in order to get to our goal. In other words, the subconscious mind gets us to make it harder and/or more complicated on ourselves than a situation really needs to be. This is a clever avoidance tactic — it’s easier to stay with a known than venture off into an unknown.

If this is the case? Your fear, your subconscious mind, is dragging you around by the tail. It’s in control of you, not you of it.

When you break down the journey through a fear to one-step-at-a-time, something almost downright miraculous happens — you become empowered! Each time you take another step towards moving through that fear, you’ll find yourself more and more invigorated. You’ll find yourself energized enough to move past the fear and onto a place of accomplishment.

Fear can be like rocket fuel for the soul!

And, once you’ve worked through one fear? That subconscious mind starts to get with the program. It allows you to repeatedly work through the mind set of red flag confusion. It realizes that you are working towards healing your inner self, bettering your life. It finally accepts that working through just about any given fear is truly in your highest and best interest.

Each time it will get easier and easier to face down a fear … Until it seems like you’re flying through life like a fearless jet fighter pilot — who is actually just a well trained human being, who ‘knows fear’ well enough, to be a confident  jet fighter pilot.

Am I advocating walking around like a fearless idiotstick? No. Fear is a survival tool. I am advocating we use it as such.

So, today I’m going to get over my “Ms. Silly Pants” fear of getting a tattoo — because I know fear. Because it’s in my highest and best interest to do so. Therefore, I’ll be in control of fear today.

What particular fear do you need to know, so you’ll be in control too?


A jet fighter pilot seemingly dancing across a landing strip,
because he’s in control of fear.

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2 Comments on “Know Fear”

  1. 1 Rhonda said at 2:46 pm on January 30th, 2012:

    “Knowing Fear.” This brings to mind an article I just read this morning–too much “coincidence” not to share:

    The Buddha’s prescription to end suffering is “mindfulness meditation”. He discovered that if you pay attention to what’s going on, moment to moment, without trying to hold onto what feels good or push away what feels bad–your relationship to pain and fear changes.

    The key shift is turning TOWARD pain and fear, when all your life you’ve turned away from it. You give it your full attention–you yield to it–and paradoxically, its hold on you diminishes. As you open to emotional pain and fear, the grip of your history loosens and you get a little saner, lighter, less entangled.

    When you feel that a thought suddenly jerks through your head and your inner world breaks into a heart-racing, adrenaline pouring, riot of fear… you bring your attention to the explosion: what is this? Ah, this is fear–and it is causing you pain. NOT the object of your fear, but the fear itself. Focusing on the sensations of the emotion, you stop telling yourself the scary story that brought this on. Without the story, the fear runs out of fuel.

    I suppose this is what you mean when you say you “know” your fear. When you know it, you come to be less and less afraid of it and of your own internal storms.

    Hang in there, Cherie. You have been through much worse–and you will be so relieved when this last procedure is over. I know you will do beautifully.

  2. 2 Chérie said at 11:01 am on March 27th, 2012:

    Rhonda, thank you so much for sharing! Beautifully stated. And, no. There are rarely such things as co-ink-ee-dinks in my ever-flowing river of reality.

    I love you and miss your infectious laughter!