I used to be afraid of flying. You could not get me on an airplane no way, no how! Terror! My stomach did flip flops and my hands felt like they had butterflies fluttering in them. Once I even opted to ride a Grey Hound bus all the way from Phoenix to Manhattan, rather than let my boyfriend see me freak out on an airplane. No offence to Grey Hound, but that trip (I think they call it a milk-run), forced me to find a way to face my fear. I wouldn’t say there was much bravery at play here. A stiff shot of vodka provided just enough of a cushion to get me on the plane.
Perspective and Perception in Action
Then one day, my friend David drove me to the airport in New Hampshire and waited there to see me onto my flight back to Toronto. As if t wasn’t obvious, I told him; “I’m afraid of flying. I hate flying. Man I get so freaked.”
“Really?” he asked “You’re afraid right now?”
“Yes I am”
“Are you sure it’s fear you’re feeling? Could it be excitement? They feel a lot the same, you know.”
They do! The butterflies, the trembling, the shallow breathing, etc. are all symptoms of both fear and excitement. I had a choice, in that moment, to be wracked with fear or filled with excitement. I chose excitement and it stuck. Now I find flying exciting and I don’t need the vodka! That was a marvelous instance of a deliberate shift in perspective. These instances are presented to us daily. We have a choice, in any given moment, as to how things will affect us. WE DECIDE and once you know that, once you embrace that, there is no turning back. Nobody can make you feel anything. You decide. It’s a simple shift in perception. Like this logogram below; once your brain makes the shift in perception and you see the shape hidden within, it becomes very difficult not to see it. And if some of your friends can’t see it, does that mean it isn’t there? No. Perception can be cultivated. Imagine that!