Challenging ourselves by facing our fears

eyeIn order to master your fears, you have to face them. I can hear some of you saying, she has completed lost it this time.
Let me expand on that subject.

In 2000 after eight months of a long battle with cancer, I lost my beautiful Mummy Bull and Little Zeb. The “Little One” and I were on the phone, and in view of what was going on with us. we decided to take a well-deserved vacation. I went to Hawaii a few years before, so while we were speaking I suggested we should go there.

We were so excited, we started to talk about what activities we should do when we got there.  I prepared a potential list of activities to do. One of them was a ride in a submarine to see the coral reefs, visiting a plantation, horseback riding, biking from the volcano down to the beach, luau, etc…

As we were reviewing the activities we talked about the submarine, I have claustrophobia so does the “Little One”.  We started to laugh about it, thinking if we do that and panicked during the descent we could sink the submarine by trying to escape. I also did horseback riding a few years before, I wanted to do that, but the issue was my sister is afraid horses.

We decided we should start to face our fears by adding those two activities to our trip.

The following year in February, the “Little One” flew from Europe to my home in the US. We left the next day for Maui. It was an interesting trip, the landing happened to be a little bite more chaotic than expected, it was pouring rain and because of the poor visibility we had to circle the island once to finally be able to land.

We spend the first couple of days enjoying ourselves. The day arrived to go for the submarine event, we drove by Lahaina to board the submarine. We stepped down to the submarine, it was big enough for us to breath. We turned to look at each other and started laughing. You need to understand every time we are in a stressful situation we laugh, we do not scream.

As the rest of the guests boarded, the submarine left the harbor. A little panic came over us, but we were still able to control it. We spend a total of 40 minutes underwater, the reef we saw had no activity. When we left the submarine, we were all smiles because we did not panic as much as we thought we would. I also must mention I went into the same submarine a few years before.  On that trip, I did however panic when we left, I was able to control it by breathing deeply.

Our next big challenge was the horseback riding. We left early that morning to go to the Mendes Ranch in the hills of Maui. We found the ranch walked in to meet up with the group of people we would be riding with. At the beginning of the trip we were asked what level of equestrian skills we had, if any. My sister had none, I did riding but it was English style. We were given different horses. For the “Little One” it was a mellow horse with a great gentle personality.

She was afraid of the horse, but she had no choice than to step up and sit in the saddle. I explained to one of the ranchers, she was afraid of horses. Stubborn as she is, she did not want to steer the horse with the reins, so she was placed at the end of the pack with one cowboy who had her horse’s rein in his hand and off we went.

I stayed in the back of the pack while she was being led by the cowboy. I made sure everything was OK, after a while I moved up toward the leader. I had a great time, I was looking back once in a while to see how she was doing. The view was breathtaking. As we were approaching the end of the ride, I challenged the “Little One” to take the reins of her horse and do it by herself.  It took a little convincing, but she did it. We left the ranch happy, like clowns. My sister will not ride another horse, but she faced her fears.

It can be challenging to live with fears. It is a great reward to face them.  Facing them can also reduce the level of fear we have but it doesn’t necessarily mean it will go away. But it can be manageable.
What kind of fears have you faced lately?

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