Am I Afraid Of The Surgeon’s Knife Or Living Life?

"Il faut nous apprivoiser."

“Il faut nous apprivoiser.”

Ah! Fear. An interesting and essential attribute for all living things, irrespective of their level of conscious awareness as we perceive it (a speciesist judgement, and surely flawed). Without fear, I suspect, neither would life exist nor human existence be so rich. Embrace it if you can, with abject terror being a possible exception?

But what is fear? It ranges from appropriate caution to sheer horror, and is surely worthy of extensive study, which it has been for many years, in the form of scientific research and comic fiction, amongst others.

How do you feel when you are afraid?

Fear comes in many guises, I think you will agree. I’ve been told by a small number of people they do not experience fear. I suspect that this just cannot be the case! Passion and reasonThey are more likely suppressing this valuable feeling from their conscious awareness. I know others who are afraid to go out of their front door, being forced to do so to seek food, but their lives are limited.

FDR said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” I’m not sure I completely agree. It isn’t fear that we have to fear, but our capitulation to negative responses to fear. Restraining our lives inappropriately, instead of employing this complex panoply of feelings as one of many rudders for steering the ‘seafaring soul’ of our ship of life.

Would you enjoy a ride on a roller coaster without fear, or that sense of achievement following a difficult task well done?

Man and his symbolsFitOldDog’s Fear Of Surgery Dream: When it comes to dreams, there seem to be two main types, those that are just mental, data processing chatter versus clear insightful visions. For me the latter generally come as a single, bright image, often complex, that I never forget. Alternatively, they occasionally appear as what I can only describe as a brief but profound video clip. Last night, one day out from surgery to fix may abdominal aortic aneurysm stent graft, I had this dream ->

“I was sitting quietly in bed. I reached for my Nook. Yes my Nook, or electronic book, but the ‘pages’ were all stuck together. I immediately reacted with a sense of dismay (yes, fear!) that I would never read again – how odd, as I could buy another Nook/Book. But dreams seem to have little respect for logic, they appear to arise out of pure emotion. I tasted the offending sticky stuff using my index finger, the same one I use to stroke friendly goldfish in my ‘waking life,’ and it was honey. Sweet, luscious, life-giving honey. That was it! The clip ended.”

My interpretation of this dream is that for me books represent a tightly held value, or archetype, the future of which is threatened by my not exactly risk-free surgery (nor high risk either) tomorrow. But this surgery will liberate me to train, read and live again – the sugary taste of fear reared up in my dream!” Somehow this provided calm and consolation for frightened little FitOldDog.

Can you tame your fears and turn them into life-long friends?




  1. The real stuff of life, the Honey, is there all around and not just in the pages of a Book. You find it by living and not just be reading so seek for it mainly outside of your Nook.

    • Hi Trevor, I do follow Albert’s (not the Bristol gorilla, unfortunately deceased, probably of boredom) the physicist (also deceased, but of an AAA) advice not to read too much, but I find it helps my writing to read well when I do. Once I get back to training, reading takes more of a back seat. I highly recommend The Book Thief for the most remarkable writing style. Cheers, Kevin

  2. Acknowledgement of fear is the key — particularly written or spoken acknowledgement: words, even if they describe alogical thoughts, require semantic logic, and thus “package” the fear, allowing you to observe it as an entity apart. Or at least, that’s how I see it this afternoon. Sending healing thoughts to ease you into a vibrant post-surgery. Sante!

    • Thanks for the comment and well-wishing, Lisa. Much appreciated. The best tool I have found for using fear effectively is promoted in the book Transcending Fear by Brian Germain, that being meditation. Sure works, but one has to take it on when the chips are down. Or in my case, when I look down from a high cliff. Cheers, kevin

  3. You are in my thoughts, Kevin. I hope the surgery goes well and your recovery is super-fast! Please let me know if you or Deb need anything at all, dog care, errands, etc., etc.!!

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.