In the beginning of the Fall, a hurricane alert was issued for the islands of Hawaii. Dark clouds had been pouring for days a cold torrential rain, and the ocean raged against the cliffs as the storm intensified. People living close to the beach were evacuated and had to leave their houses, while others who lived further away nailed blocks of wood to cover their windows. School was canceled for the week, and entire villages had been closed down. Reporters on all channels, dressed in yellow raincoats and holding on to their umbrellas, warned people to get ready for the hurricane that was to arrive in the next days.
I had never been through a hurricane before, and I asked the Soul Mechanic what to do in order to prepare. He had just finished his morning prayer and found me in front of his room waiting. “Don’t worry. It’s all just media hype. Nothing will happen” he said. A mild wave of relief and disappointment moved through my chest: I was curious to witness a hurricane, but I was relieved not having to go through one.
“Let’s go for a run, I want to see the ocean in the storm. I had never seen it before” I said.
We jogged along one another in the misty showers of rain. The palm trees stooped and the animals crouched, and nobody else was out there but us and a few cars driving away from the beach in the opposite direction. Are these people evacuating? Shouldn’t we go back home? I thought to myself. Fear started to steam in my guts. We ran through the neighborhood on the shoreline and stopped a few meters away from the ocean. The waves were battering against the brick wall, and the bank of clouds resembled a black rock floor hovering above the water.
“It looks frightening,” I said.
“It does,” said the Soul Mechanic. “It does…But like all frightful things in life, it’s not.”
“What do you mean?” I asked. The wall of dark clouds was getting closer to us.
“Think about it for a moment. You’re a scientist, you should have logic,” he laughed. “This dark veil of clouds seem to block the sun away, but this is only an illusion. They hold no power of their own. If you drive up on the mountain or hike, you will have no trouble going through the clouds, and find the sun shining in peace. If you try and touch the clouds, they disappear. If you try to grasp them, you will hold nothing in your hand. You will not feel anything when you walk through them, and they will not hurt you or touch you. These clouds you fear have no strength to hold a feather or stop a leaf from falling. The tiniest of birds can fly through them and rise above to see the sun, but she cannot rest on the clouds because they have no strength to hold its minute body. There’s nothing there.
And all fears are the same, my friend. They seem to gather from all corners of the world and close in on us to threaten our peace like dark clouds gather and seem to threaten the sun. But if you stretch your hand to grasp them, or if you take a step forward and walk through them, you will find nothing there because there is nothing there.
Do you remember the game we played when we were children, standing on the grass and looking at the sky, telling each other what shapes and figures we see in the clouds? In our imagination, we saw mountain peaks and cotton candies, giant rabbit heads and poisonous snakes, breasts of young women, and our old French teacher whom we all hated. These forms moved across the sky and shifted forms from holy to grotesque, but the only thing that gave them life was our belief in them. Fears are alike, they come in many forms that change and shift and torment our minds, but when you want to find Love and begin to walk through your fear, you will find nothing there to hurt you, because there is nothing there.”
When you walk through your fear, you will find nothing there to hurt you. – Dr. Dragos (Click to Tweet!)
We took off our shirts for the rain to enter our bodies and jogged back to the house.
DR. DRAGOS – Internationally renowned scientist and filmmaker, director of the award-winning documentary film, THE AMAZING YOU, featuring NASA legends, Rock stars, New York Times bestselling authors and the Angry Birds. Dragos spoke at conferences on five continents and his work has been translated in sixteen languages. Check out his new book: Sleepers. You can follow him on FB.
Image courtesy of Jeremy Bishop.