When We Can Let Fear Go

I wrote this last year after I came home from Oahu.

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Ever since I was a child, I was scared of deep water because I was afraid that there would be downed airplaces down there. I even went to three different psychics who all told me the same thing; I was a pilot in one of the wars, and I was shot down and went into the ocean and died there. None of this did me much good except to make me more fearful than ever.

I have hated and feared the bottom of lakes, ponds and oceans all of my life. It terrified me to see things in the water that shouldn’t be there; sunken ships, cars, airplanes, etc. When the movie “Titanic” came out and the real wreckage of the Titanic was shown, I couldn’t breathe. The panic I felt was extremely real.

There is a program now on television called “Drain the Oceans.” With technology, they can “draw back” the water and see wrecks that appear to be in the sunshine, and on sand. That I can handle. It was just seeing wrecks under water that scared me.

And then I went to Hawaii. I had a tour every other day, and my first one was Pearl Harbor. The Pearl Harbor Memorial on the day I went was being worked on, so we couldn’t go on it. However, we were able to go aboard boats to get close to the USS Arizona. It took every bit of courage for me to look down and see it on the bottom of the ocean.

But something amazing happened: all I felt was sorrow and compassion for all the brave people who died in the USS Arizona. All I could see was a resting place for those brave men and women. The young naval guides on our boat told us that many people who were there for Pearl Harbor but did not die, made provisions for their own funerals. They ask to be cremated and their ashes put in urns where divers can take them down to the USS Arizona to finally be at rest with their buddies.

After I went back to my hotel room, I wept for those who died, and for the families who had loved them. When I could pull myself back together again, I realized that my fear of deep water was gone; gone for good. I could finally let my fears go, and whether or not any of those psychics were right about my death as a pilot; well, perhaps I was. All I know now is that my fears are pretty much gone. I can say that the USS Arizona healed my fears.

For me, this was how I let go of fear, and it has changed my life.

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