So got back on Tuesday from a week in mostly sunny Mallorca. It was a break designed to boost Debs exposure to sun in order to help us face the Autumn/Winter and help reduce the downsides of SAD that she suffers from. The transition to Autumn feels like one of impending storm coming (I think of Gandalf watching the dark clouds flowing from Mordor to Minas Tirith in the film) and I find it hard not to be fearful imagining all the bad things that may lie ahead.
As well as benfiting from the sun myself I managed to get attacked by a jellyfish or maybe I attacked it as I swam. So a week later I have a very itchy burn like rash on my arm. It was lovely swimming in the clear warm water of the Med but being stung out in deep water was not a fun experience and it was real fight for self control to stop panicing and keep swimming. After that it was also a real psychological battle to get back into the water again and I forced myself too (despite the "just when you thought it was safe to get back into the water" Jaws tagline playing through my head). So I was too afraid to go out as far as I had gone before and could feel myself tense as I swam out and in.
I returned to work on Wednesday, straight into a course with exam at the end on International Financial Reporting Standards. The passmark for the exam is 70% so I have been fretting away about not passing it. Not that there is any meaningful consequence in not passing other than damaged pride and that fear of other people doing better than me. More fear just bubbling away, which made me study so had a healthy side but not sleep very well either.
I found out on friday that I hadn't been successful in the ballot for a place in the London Marathon. I'm now just fearful that I'll stop running and get fat, so am looking for another race to run.
I just wondered with all this fear kicking around inside me what that means? At the moment the world is panicing about credit crunches, house prices, rising cost of living and I feel myself dragged into that panic as well. Today I got notifiacation of how much our electricity and gas prices will be going up (30% and 20%).
Is there an antidote to all this fear? Does faith play a part in this? And if so how, other than just good old fashioned denial? Which doesn't seem to resonate with Jesus who took a realist appraoch when he guaranteed troubles and advised not to fret about tomorrow as today has enough worries, stresses and fears of its own?
To quote another movie strapline if are natural condition is: 'be afraid...be very afraid' what helps you and gives you hope, strength, courage, will to go forward inspite of the fear we feel?