Present day today, the month of May floods me with memories of my childhood summer vacations, mostly spent with my grandmother at her residence and playing around feasting on the variety of fruits from her orchard.
Story of Eagle
Despite the holidays, we had a compulsory noon break, in which we were prohibited from venturing outside, it was time for a siesta, but my curious mind would seek the best of adventures around the peak afternoon only, and to dissuade the rebellious me , my aunt would tell me a story about a fierce eagle which was on a lookout for me and would lay an egg on my head as soon as spot me during the peak afternoon in the orchard .
I had a faint view of this bird on the Eucalyptus tree in our backyard, so when I was told she was coming for me made me scared and seeking safety, that day onwards to several years later, I never ventured out in the afternoon.
The story had a deep impact on my mind for a very long time, it was many years later I understood the silliness of it and the reason why it was told.
(Here’s a glimpse of a hot summer afternoon, but this one is a recent one, perhaps less intense than it was 34 years ago)
Stories and its impact
Stories impact us deeply and in more than profound ways, we can even imagine.
Stories inspire us, make us laugh, bring in a good memory, and at times scares us regardless of how silly they may sound.
This is because we connect with stories very easily, and the meanings we associate with them may stay deeply embedded in part of our brain that regulate our emotions, thoughts and behaviors in the limbic system of the Brain.
As a seven-year-old, an Eagle with her laying an egg on my head was scary enough to keep me away from outdoors, but it also gave shape to my fear, with an eagle personified through it.
What is Fear?
- Fear is an emotion and holds its base in the emotional storehouse of our mind, (read amygdala) alongside memories (read hippocampus) laced with feelings and thoughts and often driving our behaviors.
- You will be surprised to learn that most of our fears are baseless in its absolute sense, meaning without a valid reason therefore it is best to describe it as baseless.
- Fear gains power ONLY when it gets combined with stories, experiences filled with negative emotions and feelings.
- Fear also can be a window to all those emotions, feelings and thoughts we have been holding on, neglecting and suppressing, hoping one day they vanish on their own.
- We also carry some fears inherited from our ancestors and their unresolved trauma’s still alive in our nervous systems, seeking a way to heal.
The solution to fears
I overcame my fear of the Eagle and her chase of me, as a grew up, not only understanding the excuse of a silly story intended to prevent a seven-year-old from heat waves, but while working on my fears understood the impact of the stories on our mind which conjures up images and our own catastrophic predictions by the brain to protect us.
Whether it is a seven-year-old or an adult, our brain is designed to constantly protect us and keep us safe in doing so, it sometimes act and behave in manner that may, or may not be very conducive for our growth.
Thus, to overcome fears or find ways to move out of our comfort zone, we need to venture into the deep recess of our mind, unearth the hidden stories, bring it to the surface, expose it completely and only then it is possible to rewrite it, through rewiring our mind with new neural pathways that can differentiate between healthy and unhealthy safety zones.
Are you ready then, if yes, take the first step and do the following.
Call to Action -Reflect and explore your fears.
Is there anything in your life that scares you still, due to a story told long ago? write it in detail.
what area of your life you find yourself stuck in? write it in detail.
What do you delay or procrastinate the most, what is holding you back? what’s the story beneath it.
and if you want to share your story or response with me, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org with subject line as blog post title.
c) Mehnaz Amjad – 2017 -2023
About the Author ; Mehnaz Amjad, is a Life Coach and a Cognitive Behavior Therapist,
I’m on a mission to empower people with strategies and tools, they need to cope with difficult times & navigate through challenging circumstances.
If you are in search of help, click to connect.