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🎢 The one thing I fear the most...

We have to get used to life’s roller coaster moments

Quite literally speaking, I don’t like roller coasters (the amusement park rides) at all. I have tried so many times to enjoy them and I just can’t. Having said that, I have not tried it since my dad died, maybe I should. Maybe I will find it liberating.

I am quite a methodical person, same routine every morning (or almost), I like things a particular way, a particular order and I have a notebook I tick off every night based on goals and habits i have achieved that day or not. This is with the intention of reflecting and analysing patterns that have helped me or stopped me from ‘achieving’ something I am after (I won’t go into any more details regarding my OCD'-ish quirks!)

The point I am trying to make is…I hope by now you can sense I like feeling in control (and I like to reflect a lot…but that is a complete topic on its own, not for today!)

So, I want to make an emphasis on the word feeling.

I chose ‘feeling’ over ‘being’ in control as I don’t think we can always control things.

At least I do my best to feel I can have some sort of impact on the direction of my life.. This is why I don’t like roller coasters, it makes me feel there is nothing I can do, but go up and down this high mountain at fast speed…why on earth would I put myself in that situation by choice?

but…wait a minute…isn’t life like this?

Full of ups and downs, some expected, some come completely out of the blue.

So, how do I feel about life’s roller coasters?

I would say I am more familiar with them and more comfortable than your traditional roller coaster at your nearest amusement park.

I feel ‘ready’ to enjoy and also to endure. When I say ‘ready’, I am not saying I have all the answers and that I know how to approach everything. In fact, I don’t. For me ‘ready’ means knowing great things will happen, but also some shit ones too, it is inevitable and that is part of the beauty of being human, being conscious.

Then I started thinking: What is one of the things I ‘fear’ the most?

Death came straight to my mind and then I started to unpick this…

  • It is not my death that I fear

  • It is not the process or feeling of dying that I fear

The thing about death I fear the most is not (at the moment) about my own mortality. Yes, of course this topic brings thoughts about how I want to live my life etc, but, it does not come from fear.

  • Do I fear missing someone so very deeply? Yes, a little, but I know this is inevitable. I have experienced it before and I know it won’t be the last time. I know every time will be different and it won’t get ‘easier’. I will just have to live through it, the same way I am currently doing. So no, it is not the fear of missing someone that I fear the most.

I fear the shock. I fear accidents.

I fear finding someone I care about in a state of distress (again), I fear being in an emergency situation and not knowing what to do, I fear being in a tranquil, stable state, to then be shocked with ‘ bad news’. But I know they will happen.

How do I alleviate this fear?

By acknowledging it.

This is a very common technique used by psychotherapists and other experts in the field of death and dying.

They would say:

  1. What would be the absolute worst that could happen to you?

[Insert thought]

  1. Now think, why is this the worst that could happen?

[Insert thought with this starter: I’m afraid …]

Now, most likely, you will feel anxious, sad, but hold on…try to keep thinking about all this. Don’t run away.

By doing this, you are:

  1. Validating your emotions

  2. Being open with yourself (and potentially others if you decide to share htis)

  3. Confronting your fears and thoughts

This does not mean you will be fearless and emotionless, but you will normalise and realise it is normal and natural to feel this way.

Try to reflect on it, maybe even think…what could you do?

I just tried this exercise too..

Having done this exercise just now, as I feel slightly anxious as my mum has been on and off for a couple of weeks without us really knowing what is going on…I have come to the following conclusion:

Can I control that? Nope…(I see the relationship with the rollercoasters again lol)

What can I do? Make sure I am holding space for her, that I am present and ready to support if she needs me.

Yea, obviously it is still scary for me, and deep inside I am thinking: ‘Here we go again’ - like thinking I need to be ready for a similar situation that happened with my dad. I may be overthinking, but this is how I feel.

Life is cyclical

To finalise this very unplanned long post, I wanted to highlight a little bit about life’s cycles and how we often see beginnings and endings in our everyday life without really thinking about it.

For example…

Fernanda’s plant in bathroom

This is how my plant looked this morning, clearly dying, dead leaves already on the floor. Plants die, trees die, bees die, we see this very often. It is just the nature of life. It is cyclical.

The opposite of death is not life, it is birth. 

See you in 2 weeks!

Fernanda

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