Sometimes scary things happen. You almost get run over by a car. Your partner yells at you. Your kid falls and hurts herself. Things happen. Scary things.
But what we tend to do in our attempt to control and keep chaos at bay, is assume that in the future it will be the same. You will always have close calls with cars from now on. Your partner will always yell when xyz happens. Your kid will always injure herself. We believe that these things, these scary things, WILL happen again.
So we do everything we can to avoid the cars and the yelling and the falling down… and in the process, we end up avoiding the actual living we get to do in this world.
But what if scary things happen – and that’s it? They don’t come in three’s. They don’t happen to you and you alone. They don’t happen (and they’re not prevented) just because you worried and wrung your hands.
Scary things happen.
But not all the time. Not even close.
My cat, Matilda, had a run-in with a new neighbor cat. She was beside herself, growling, hissing, you know how cats get, right? I let my dog out to be the hero and chase the cat off and all was well in our world again.
But literally three minutes later, I heard my cat growling and hissing again. I thought, “Wow, that’s one brave cat to come back after the dog chased him off.” So I let the dog out again, only to see that the “intruder” Matilda was upset about was MY OTHER CAT, Zinc!
Scary things happen even in cat world. And because Matilda wanted to control and keep chaos at bay, she assumed that this cat – her brother for the last five years – was a menace. She didn’t take the time to check whether this scary thing that was happening was actually real – it happened once, so of course it was going to happen again!
Poor Zinc. Poor Matilda. Poor you and me. We all do it. We’ll keep doing it.
But maybe, just maybe, we can begin to shift our perspective about scary things. Yes, they’ll keep happening. Yes, you should definitely look both ways before you cross the street. But please, keep walking. Keep loving. Keep letting your kid play. Keep at it, and you’ll find that there are so many more moments in life when, lo and behold, scary things DON’T happen.
You just have to take the time to learn how to notice them.