The word “fear” is powerful, but only because, deep down, in each one of us, there is usually a fear of something. I think of friends and family, and I can easily recount their fears because they often mention them in conversation.
I’m not afraid of big things, like death, because I have a deep faith and I believe all the big things are already conquered, so I don’t spend time fearing them. But I admit to a fear of heights and spiders.
In the last year and a half, I faced my fear of heights straight up. Last December, in Costa Rica, I rappelled down waterfalls with my son, Sam. The first drop backward into thin air was 200 feet down. Stepping off the cold, chipped green metal scaffolding was a real test of courage for me. I asked my guide if people ever turned back once they looked down. “Si, a lot of the time,” he nodded. Turns out, there was an extra guide lurking in the forest canopy at the beginning of the adventure. His only job? To take people back who cannot take that step. I think about what I would have missed if I had walked back to the starting place.
A couple months ago, I had to climb the mast of my sailboat to fix and replace a couple things. It was my first time up there. Although I was tethered to a friend and the height of my mast is only 32 feet, the rocking of the boat in the wind got my attention. But there was no fear. Every now and then, I’d take a break from the work to look around. I could see a bridge, Lemon Bay, and a glimpse of the Gulf of Mexico. What a view!
It’s funny, my fear of heights, once so solid, is gone. One less nasty little thing that has a bad hold on me. And I like it.
Now, on to spiders.