Fear of Flying
There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask “What is I fall?”
Oh but my darling, What if you fly?
The sound of a plane in the sky would conjure up scenes of a dramatic crash in my head, increase my heart rate and make my palms sweat. Needless to say I had a slightly exaggerated fear of flying. What is a Soul Adventurer to do when she wants to travel the world but just the thought of sitting in a giant metal vessel a zillion feet above the ocean with no place to pull over in the case of an emergency to do? Take nine flight in three weeks…thats what!
I have learned throughout this Soul Adventure called life that fear can keep you right where you are, longing for a more full life but too afraid to live it. They say that on the other side of fear lies freedom, I second that sentiment. I have discovered that when I have a fear of something I need to confront it in order to be freed of the constraints that the fear has tangled me in.
I have given my fear of flying quite some thought and I have determined it is linked to a fear of giving myself wholesale into the care of another with the risk of a very dramatic proverbial crash, a fear of soaring with no chance to stop until the destination is arrived at. I noticed that the fear was present when the flight was smooth as well as when there was turbulence. It was a general fear that at any moment some slight technical malfunction can send me plummeting to my eventual demise and that I would have no chance of saving myself, I would have to accept my fate. It was not until flight number 8 where I began to break ground on acceptance. It was a flight from Gatwick back into the Caribbean with hours of turbulence.
For some of us the fear of falling overshadows the possibility of living fully. We resolve within ourselves that where we are is good enough . We do this because it is safe, familiar and most importantly we buy into this idea that we control most of the variables that will keep harm and suffering at bay. Well, my dear Soul Adventurers I have a secret to share with you, letting your fears hold you back from the infinite and beautiful possibilities of life means that you already half dead.
This is the wisdom I have gained from facing my fear of flying- my fear of vulnerability. If you want to live a life filled with rich experiences then you need to stop clenching to your seat bathed in cold sweat. Instead you should pear out of the window, appreciate the beautiful sunrise and imagine how it would feel to be caressed by the soft clouds. We need to develop a comfort with the uncertain and take each moment as it comes. To my mind that is really what a fear of flying is, it is a fear of letting go, a fear of someone or something else having more control over your fate than you.
Sometimes I have found myself afraid of achieving too much in the fear that I will loose it all. The less I have to loose the better, the lesser the elevation the shallower the fall from grace no? As that plane climbs higher and higher into the clouds, then above the clouds the more I would fear the dramatic downward plummet. The better approach would be to embrace the rise without doing what Wendell Berry has called taxing your peace with the forethought of grief. It is about being present in the beautiful experience and not conjuring up thoughts of how it can all be taken away from you.
It is allowing yourself to anticipate a rise instead of a fall. It is about choosing a positive perspective. We must approach life’s journey not expecting to crash, instead imagine the blissful freedom of flight. Bliss can only be experienced if you invest yourself wholesale- radiant Soul Adventurers…take courage
Grenada Soul Adventurer