Facing my Fear and Taking on Jaws

Mon 10th Feb 2014
Living to Be Happy 

If we only ever did what we already know and what we already understand, we would be in a place very familiar and comfortable, but how could we learn anything new?

From the moment we are born, we are constantly learning about everything with wonder, fascination and enthusiasm. When we get older, we learn to hold on to what is familiar to us, but this can only aid in taking away the wonder, fascination and enthusiasm.

Spirituality is all about spiritual growth - doing things we have never done before. This is because it is only during new experiences that we learn about the world around us and about our Self and grow as human beings.

It follows then that when we are having new experiences out of our comfort zone, we learn about the world around us and about our Self and grow as human beings the most. In other words, most spiritual growth takes place when facing our fears.

My journey of Self discovery continues with more new experiences - and now it is time to start facing my fears. I am going to start by taking on Jaws!

Before McDonalds became the global junk food company that is it today, I remember a time when the burger fast food restaurant of choice in England was Wimpy. There are still a few of them dotted around, but not many.

When I was about 10 years old, I went to a friend’s birthday party at Wimpy. At the party someone enthusiastically told me that the film Jaws was going to be on television that night, so when my mum picked me up that evening, I asked if I could watch it. She said no because I was too young, and it was on too late anyway because it was bedtime.

So what did I do? I went to bed like a good boy of course! -  then, I quietly switched on the black and white TV in my room and watched as much of the film that I could until I eventually got caught and scolded back to bed.

Jaws is one of the best horror films ever made. Thanks to Steven Spielberg, I now have a genuine and irrational fear of being attacked by a hungry fish while swimming in the sea.

I know it is irrational because although I love swimming and I am a very competent swimmer, I even get scared sometimes when I am in the swimming pool! I simply imagine a shark moving up from underneath me and I start to have an irrational moment of panic.

I keep using the word ‘irrational’ intentionally because most fears are irrational. Whether afraid of flying, spiders, enclosed spaces … or sharks, the fear is always about something that has not happened yet, most probably never will happen and even if it does happen, there is nothing we can do about it anyway, so why worry?

Right now I am in Taganga, a coastal bay near to Santa Marta, which is one of the cheapest places to learn to scuba dive.

If most spiritual growth takes place when facing our fears, it is time for me to take on Jaws - so tomorrow I start my scuba diving qualification!

Be inspired ♥


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