We are going back to that article by Thomas J. Barrack Jr ‘Harness your Amygdala.’
In checking for a simple description/definition of the word Amygdala, this is what I came across: ‘The (almond shaped) brain structure which appears to be at the very centre of most of the brain events associated with fear’. Barrack in his article, explains that the more information is absorbed from different sources such as sound, sight, touch, scent etc, our brain redirects our body’s function to adapt to this new environment…and that fear, being one of the strongest of our emotions, elicits a chemical change in the body, but that our never-ending quest is (I say, should be) knowing when to go with our emotions and be fearful, and when to check fear at the gate and rely on reason…but I go with ‘check fear at the gate’ and not let it follow you anywhere! He, of course, was speaking from the point of view of an investor making decisions in the face of….
Fear is an emotion we detest and despise, yet seem mostly powerless to resist! Sometimes, it even seem safe to take refuge in it, if that makes sense! And sometimes, when life is actually rosy, we fear because there suddenly seem to be nothing to be afraid of, check out our man Job in the Bible….he just couldn’t imagine life without problems, and tried his best to cover his bases, when there was no reason to. What did he say of himself when calamity eventually came? ‘What I feared most has come upon me.’
Have you ever dreamed you are being chased, and try as you can, you are unable to make your limbs move as fast as they should, have you ever also dreamed where only the dry-mouthed fear actually lent speed to your feet and you flew…it is incredible what this emotion can do to us if we let it. It is not the strength of the emotion, it is that we give in to it! We have the power of choice to decide exactly what we want and when we want it. We are not robots. Our daily lives need not be subject to perpetual heart palpitation, imagining the things that will happen simply because of some choices we have or have not made! I read somewhere that most of those things we fear never happens. In fact, quoting Stevie Wonder in one of his songs (Tomorrow Robbins Will Sing) ‘today is the tomorrow you were so worried about.’
Giving in to fear makes it a master who calls the shots; dictating every aspect of your life, what you eat, when you eat it, if you sleep, how you wake, what to wear, whether to go out or not, what meetings to attend, whether to travel…every single aspect…and having befriended, having had such an intimate time with it recently, I have come out feeling that it is not doing me any good and have severed that cord….it is not a clean-cut process, it is a (sometimes) slow but a steady one, and I am determined not to live according to its dictates. I take back control of my life.
I wrote the following (‘My Notes’ on Face Book) during one of those nights when I thought I would die from fear; it was such an incredible feeling I sometimes felt hands reached into my chest to pull out my heart. Kilode?!
Terror. Emotion strong in itself
Gripping, banding, binding
Tight fist grasping my heart
My throat clamped shut
In its terrible grip I am frozen
Unable to think, blood running cold
Struggling to surface from the dark abyss
Bright metallic taste in my mouth
Heart beating frantically to summon the Word
Words to dispel and disband!
Then, from afar it came...
'Fear not, I will be with you...'
Out I came, gasping as it were, for breath
Into light, into freedom, into life
Soul singing 'I am free!'
There are more assurances to not fear than there are things to fear!
Free yourself, free yourself!
Be free oh.