Walloping Your Inner Wampa
Today’s Words of Wisdom:
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer.”
The Foda’s Take: I remember reading these words for the first time in Frank Herbert’s “Dune” chronicles, and it’s as profound for me now as it was then.
Fear. It’s what makes us human. A lot of us probably question why we’re hardwired to even have this emotion, since it has a tendency to run rampant and wreak havoc on our lives if given free reign. However, fear is historically there for a reason: to tell us to RUN! Run awayyyy!!!!! when a rancor is about to chew our heads off. Only in today’s world, there are no rancors. (That we know of. Wink.) And for most of us, it’s not very likely we’re going to have a face-to-face encounter with a bengal tiger any time soon. Which is why people get so mad at fear. Why do we need it? Or, the question I’ve been quandering: How do we tame it?
You see, for me, I view fear like a Wampa Snow Beast. (Click link for picture.) All huge and primal and bloody teethed from chowing down on an afternoon snack of Tauntaun-on-ice. Remember that part in “Empire Strikes Back” after Luke cuts off its arm? He’s all WAHRRRAAAAHHHHHRAHHHH!!!! flailing around and making all that racket?
To me, that’s what my inner fear looks like. A big white snow beast making all that fuss over a threat that’s halfway across Hoth by now. And I’m sad to say, that snow beast with the pea-sized intellect made a lot of my choices for me for a while. (Pause for moment of silence while I sheepishly duck my head into the neck hole of my sweater. 3… 2… 1… ) And we’re back!
So, yeah, it’s true, at first I was afraid, I was petrified…
……Kept thinkin’ I could never live without you by my side….oh, Wampa Snow Beast….. But then I spent so many nights thinking how you did me wrong and I grew STRONG…..
Whoa. What do you MEAN that sounds awfully familiar? PLAGIARISM? Psssh. Plagiarism, my Bantha. (Calm down Aretha Franklin fans, I’m totally kidding.)
But I digress. The point is, I lived a lot of my life being afraid. Afraid to tell people I was sick, afraid to put myself out there, afraid to go after the things I really wanted, even when my body was healthy enough to get them. But the amazing unexpected part of this whole chronic illness? Is that years of trial and isolation have forced me to face my inner snow beast and tell him to SHUT THE HOTH UP!
It’s the best outcome of this whole struggle. I’m not afraid anymore. (Except for spiders. And snakes. And bears. And pretty much anything creepy or that could legitimately kill me.) But so far as life goes, yeah. My actions are no longer dictated by fear. Hence, the publication of this blog a mere two months ago. (Which was a big deal, seeing as for the three previous years, I couldn’t even say the name of my illness out loud.)
And you wanna know something incredible? Since I stopped letting fear hold me back from putting myself out there, all of a sudden, these… THINGS…. are happening.
All of a sudden, when I’m having the most horrible of days, praying for some little nugget of hope or love to help boost me up, things are happening. A get well card from a former student showing up in the mail. A bouquet of flowers from co-workers who haven’t seen me since I got too sick to work. An e-mail from an old friend sharing a personal story with me containing her silent struggle. Little things. But as we’ve discussed in The Small Things miniseries, the small things sometimes mean the most.
I always wondered why, for all those years when I cried out for help to the universe, I wasn’t getting anything in return. But now I believe that the reason why is because my rampant Wampa went all willy-nilly on my brain, blocking me from putting myself out there “AS IS.” (No substitutions, exchanges, or refunds!)
So today, I want to share with all of you who are battling your own Wampa Snow Beast: once you realize the voice in your head that’s holding you back is a primitive fictional character unable to even use the gift of legible language? It makes it a LOT easier to shut it up and put yourself and your dreams out into the world.
Because just like a boomerang, you have to throw it out there to ever get it back.
And if you’re still all, I don’t know, Foda, this sounds kinda iffy… Just picture your fear like a lumbering white nincompoop getting hit in the head with a boomerang. And if you do that right, you really should be laughing right now, which is a WHOLE other type of totally fear-canceling emotion…
(Ha! Take that, Freud! Or some other psychologist who didn’t maintain the problems of mankind always stem from a woman’s desire to be anatomically male… PEJORATIVE PIG.)
Now Go Wallop that Wampa!