Fear is a strange thing.
One type of fear serves a real purpose that could even save your life, that’s rational fear. You find yourself in Beautiful British Colombia somewhere in the woods and come face to face with a grisly bear. The fear you feel then is rational and very functional fear. It serves to get your body in a state that it will be able to deal with the situation in such a way that you have the biggest chance of getting out alive.
Then there is irrational fear, a type of fear that doesn’t really serve a purpose but was handed down by your parents, caretakers or other people in your environment, or that you developed all by yourself when you grew up. I’m talking about the fear of the monster under the bed, the fear of open spaces for instance. Or indeed my fear of opening envelopes.
I have a very vivid imagination and when I was a boy I used to build creatures from other planets out of Lego and what have you. Then at night I became afraid that the creatures would come to live and eat me (I think that would classify as an irrational fear), so I disassembled them, head in one corner of the room, legs or means of movement in other places so that the creature would not be able to re-assemble itself during the night and eat me anyway.
The fear I’m confronted with at the moment is that I will fail my exam tomorrow, one of two yearly mandatory exams and refresher courses that each take up an entire day. Tomorrow it will be worse, I will have palpitations and sweaty hands.
In 7 years I have only had to do one re-take and still I’m afraid that I won’t pass. I’ve been revising for a few days and know all the answers to the questions in the questionnaires and still I feel the fear.
I guess this one fall in the category ‘irrational’.
We’ll know more end of tomorrow.
(Copyright image: “Leviathan” by Marion Peck, purchase at Amazon.com)