Beating those irrational fears….

….before they beat us!

Irrational fears. Everyone has ’em. If you say you don’t have any, you’re either lying or you just haven’t found them yet! Phobias are irrational fears. Fear of spiders or snakes. Fear of heights (yep, I claim this one!). Fear of public speaking….oooh yeah! According to Jerry Seinfeld, public speaking is the number 1 fear of most adults, followed by “death” at number two; so indeed, if you are at a funeral, you would be better off being IN the casket than giving the eulogy!

I admit to irrational fears and phobias. I’m wickedly afraid of heights (to the point where it’s amazing I can even ski!) Auto-flush toilets kind of freak me out (ok, so that one isn’t a fear, but an annoyance). Being called to the office of my boss, or a manager, teacher or supervisor, even when I KNOW I haven’t done anything wrong! I could go on, but you know enough now to recognize a special kind of freak 😉

So, for years, I’ve had a phobia about a song. Yep, you heard me, a song. I referred to it as the “dead pet song”. Anytime I heard it on the radio, (or so it seemed) a pet died. I heard it when my mother and sister were taking our old cat Misty to the vet to put her to sleep; at that time, it seemed like a sign, as it’s a happy sounding song, and I could picture our sweet kitty running and frolicking through a meadow of flowers, chasing birds, etc. I heard it on the radio again when I was taking my pet bunny, Beebe, to the vet (this was quite a few years later, so it’s not like the song was popular at the time); I thought it was a sweet little “hello” from Misty, saying that everything was going to be all right. Except it wasn’t, and Beebe never made it home from the vet. My old cat Syrie and I missed him terribly, and we ended up getting sister kitties Daulton and Griffey to keep Syrie company, who would then be with me for 16 and 15 years, respectively. (And aside, yes, I used to have a tendency to name pets after athletes I enjoyed watching or respected, with Syrie being an old orange cat named “Syracuse” for my grandfather’s alma mater. The current crop of Lucy, Ethel, Junebug and Weezie can attest to the fact that I no longer name pets after sports heroes!)

So, from that point on, I avoided the “dead pet song”. If I heard the opening notes come on the radio, the channel was changed quickly. If I heard it playing in a store, I would actively leave the store and go into the parking lot for 5 minutes. Kinda crazy, huh? And logically, I knew that hearing a dang song wasn’t going to kill a kitty, but I just didn’t want to chance it! (My sports teams don’t do as well if I am actively watching a game usually either, so superstition holds! It can’t be because they suck!)

Two days ago, I was in a store, in a changing room, trying on, and the damn dead pet song came on! WHAT TO DO??? I’M HALF NAKED!!! (yeah, no one wants to see that!) I finally sucked it up and dealt with it, and stayed in the store, trying on clothes, and hoping against hope that I wouldn’t go home to a fractured feline or withered weasel. And yeah, ya know what? No dead pets! Curse broken!

Yes, it’s a whole ridiculous thing. But so many of the boundaries and fears that we put up in our lives are ridiculous as well, when you get down to it. I fear heights; but I ski, and I’ve zip-lined, and I hike up high on narrow paths. I kind of fear horses (they are dang big and tall, and have minds of their own!), but I’ve learned how to ride. I’ve been intimidated by multiple challenges in my life, both professional and personal; but each of those challenges can be successfully faced and conquered. Telling myself that a stupid song would cause the end result of a dead pet for 20 years was ludicrous; telling myself that I “can’t” do something is equally ludicrous.

I am proud to have a quite wise friend who once made a comment of “we are limited only by the boundaries of our imagination”; we are indeed.

Limitless. Imagine THAT!

(no pets were harmed in the writing of this post! But ya know, I may still not play the video clip! 🙂 )

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