Existential dissonance!

“What fear have you conquered?” the Bloganuary prompt teases.

Some remain unconquered. A childhood incident triggers aquaphobia. As a result, I’ve gotten through life without learning to swim. For an Ozzie, this is an anomaly! I have concluded that my other bête noir, acrophobia, is just plain vertigo. Air travel is a breeze, even though I get dizzy standing on a step to change a light globe.

My temperament is one that seems naturally tuned into threats, real and imagined. The radar is constantly scanning the horizon, ready to react whenever an unwelcome blip appears. In counterphobic fashion, I am the zebra that protectively circles the herd, keeping an eye on the long pampas grass that conceals stalking predators.

Some commentators describe this persistent low static state of fear as existential dissonance. It is an inherent inability to trust the wellness of things. The antidote seems to be courage cultivated by awareness and paying attention.

The Apostle Thomas is my patron saint. He had the courage to name his doubts and ask his questions. Even though he feared the worst, he was the first to urge his peers to accompany their teacher back to Lazarus’ deathbed, where danger and mortal threat loomed.

I don’t know that one really conquers fear. One becomes aware of it, studies it, and reflects on it. In the process, its grip weakens and it almost becomes like an old friend. It’s no longer fear – it’s something else.

Published by wonderingpilgrim

Not really retired but reshaped and reshaping. Now a pilgrim at large ready to engage with what each day brings.

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