I lay on the couch in the comfort of my home. My cat curled up next to me. Enjoying the absolute peacefulness and security of my home.
Later this evening, or early this morning I will make my second visit to the barn to care for my beloved horses. It will be bitter cold with a winter’s wind blowing its reminder of the season.
I will have recently awoken from a nap. Groggy to get up and tiredly make my way to the bedroom to change clothes. Layers upon layers will prepare me for the cold.
I fear not.
Each piece of clothing carefully chosen for each challenge of winter’s cold.
I walk out into the cold and it’s immediate entrance across my face awakens any fatigue I carried with me, from that comfortable nap on the couch.
It is silent, the night. Most have turned off their lights and taken to their beds. But not I. I roam the night and visit its pure silence.
On a weekend night, there are some cars coming and going, but as I drive deeper into the country, any signs of moving cars quickly dissipate into the night.
Some people ask, “Aren’t you afraid to go out to the barn that late?”. “Afraid?!, I say. “No, afraid of what?”, I ask. Most have no answer to return for that. “Just afraid”, they say.
I reply again, “Afraid of what?”.
At the barn, there are four-legged creatures of the night. My barn is 9 miles deep into the country and away from the city. It is located in one of the richest communities around here. Where 30, 50 or 200 acres of land for each farm is owned, as I pass each one to and from the barn.
There I hear only the sheer unobtrusive tranquility of nature. Where my two-legged creatures are safe each day and night. Where the call of an owl cries to another across the frozen land of the country. Where the howling of the coyotes chatters to one another in a pack. Maybe a passing car or two. The stars as big as ever in the clear of the night. The stillness is captivating. It draws me to tranquil presence.
I fear not.
I probably got this fearless state of the night from my mother. Her fearless tenacity has always astounded me. She feared nothing. Sometimes at default, but none the less, fearless. She never instilled fear in me. Growing up on a farm, there is no time to contemplate fear. You get out there and you get the job done! No matter the weather, the conditions, the challenges, the obstacles, the risks. Get out there and do it!
I fear not the night.
None the less, I too have unsubstantiated fears that are ego-driven. At times they can take on a tornado life of chaos and panic. Triggered by the worst of internal fears. We each have them. Fears, phobias, catastrophic doom. Whatever its label, at times it ignites as real as the toes on your feet.
The Influence of Fear
As some learn to be fearful at every turn. And it seems we have a growing network of fear-mongering media messages and fear-mongering followers. At every turn, we believe anything that comes in front of us, never investigating its validity. Just blindly believing its message. The messages of fear are the agenda of media today. (to understand more about fear in the media visit this link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/two-takes-depression/201106/if-it-bleeds-it-leads-understanding-fear-based-media)
Some have fear instilled into them. Be afraid of that weather. Be afraid of the night. Be afraid of people. Be afraid of driving at night. Be afraid of strangers on a walking path. Fear storms. This permeating fearful thinking, that everything at every turn is to be feared. It can be carried energy from the generation before. Learned behavior of anxiety carried onto a new generation.
Unsubstantiated fears acknowledged and encouraged in a family. Unrecognized subtleties that are learned behaviors, passed onto one generation to another.
As ABC Science states, “Fear is a natural and desirable response to a dangerous situation. But when a person’s fear is out of proportion to the stimulus that caused it or is chronic or debilitating, a person can be said to be suffering from an anxiety disorder”. (Link: https://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2003/08/04/914237.htm)
Not to be mistaken with caution. Cautions are logically thought out and determined as an instinctual form of survival. It warns us of danger and to be safe and avoid any unnecessary risks. As Yoga International states, ” Caution means allowing fear to be present because we understand the inherent necessity for bodily or psychological survival”. (Link: https://yogainternational.com/article/view/the-difference-between-caution-and-fear)
Psychological Fear vs. Ego Driven Fear
But Fear. That is another animal within us. It is the ego at it’s best. It is like gasoline being thrown into a fire. It ignites a larger flame, a more powerful fire. It grows and grows beyond control. It FEARS all. But has no real substantiation to it’s growing climatic escalation.
“Whenever fear ceases to be real fear and becomes psychological, it becomes ego-driven fear. As the voice in the head gets going, it is prone to make a story out of the event, develop an attitude and opinion about it, and relive it in countless ways”. (Huff Post: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/our-shared-fears-and-how-_b_776720)
It need not be a real experience you have, it can simply be recreated in the ego-driven mind by hearing a story in the news or the latest community tragedy from a neighbor. Exponentially expanding the experience into a fear, victimizing one’s self over and over again by repeatedly speaking of the event.
An example of this may be the roadside memorial of a person who died in a car crash. Recognizing each and every memorial. Awfulizing each memorial, each accident you learn of as if it was your next life event.
This takes on an entirely different meaning if this event was a friend’s tragedy or a tragedy of your own. But here we are speaking of ego-driven thoughts that expand themselves simply by thriving on the fear.
This is a form of ‘terrorizing yourself with your thoughts’. Fear-based thoughts that have no place taking up space in your mind.
One has to make a decision to keep feeding the fearful thoughts and allowing them to grow, or to empower your positive thoughts and quiet the negative fearful thoughts. (To learn how to quiet the fear visit this article by medium.com: https://medium.com/the-ascent/coping-with-fear-ab322e2d2654)
I Fear Not
I fear not the night at the barn. Where only nature’s and domesticated creatures of the nightlife. It brings me peace and calm and tranquility. It offers hope and rejuvenation from the atrocities of the world and its people.
It is not the night at the barn that is where the cautions are. It is in the world. Where people roam, where politics dominate, where corporations exercise control for greed, where all the evil of the world lives, amongst the people and the city life.
It is not the quiet unadulterated world of nature, in the country life, where there are things to fear. It is amongst the unpredictability of people and their agenda’s that make no sense. That is what to fear.
For me, it is no competition, no question in my mind where it most safe in all this world. It is in a quiet country life where my equines live in peace. It is where nature’s agenda is nothing but clear and unobstructed by the mean, hateful, and judgmental doings of so many people.
There is where there is no fear. For there are no people there. Only the animals that upon each day and night are happy to be a part of the night, in the country. Where they too are safe from the evils of the world done by so many people.
I fear not.
The night at the barn is my friend.
It is the people of the world I fear.
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