How much fear is the right amount?

Liz Sumner Courage, Fear, Forgiveness Leave a Comment

We felt a couple of earthquakes last night (10.26.16)– a 5.5 and 6.1 plus some noticeable aftershocks. Good sized shakers worthy of some fright. No noticeable effects other than rattling dishes and some cupboard doors opening. The epicenter was 100 km south of here.

After the initial thoughts of “oh shit how bad is this going to be” and then comparing it to the ones in August, and knowing that they aren’t usually singular events, I allow myself some racing pulse. The magic of the internet assures me that my friends are all fine.

I start to relax and then another one comes or is it just my heart beating that’s making the bed shake. Now I’m super sensitive to motion and feel something every time a truck drives by.

Like a pendulum I swing back and forth between melodrama and criticism– oh poor me I’m all alone and the house might fall down to buck up you sniveling whiner. Nothing is the matter. You’re just calling attention to yourself.

Both of those responses are extreme. I am safe and sound AND an earthquake is somewhat traumatic. I’m allowed some residual feelings. The disapproving headmistress is being unnecessarily harsh. I can be fine and a teense sensitive at the same time.

Update 10.30.16: Since I wrote that we’ve had an even bigger earthquake (6.5) and dozens and dozens of aftershocks. I am no longer giving myself a hard time about being scared.

I did realize that my biggest fear is not that I will be injured or killed, but that I will be inconvenienced– be evacuated or have to pay for expensive repairs.

The fire department has inspected and sees nothing dangerous. I am very fortunate. And my (rapidly beating) heart goes out the people and towns who have experienced serious damage.

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