Published by Rachelle Disbennett-Lee
Friday, June 28, 2002
you help me? I'm scared!
I am a novice international traveler. My first trip outside
of North America was frightening. As I was waiting to board
my plane for the 15-hour journey to the other side of the
world, I encountered a wise person. She showed up in the
body of a fourteen-year-old girl.
I sat down in the waiting area of the airport and didn't
notice the young girl sitting next to me. To be honest,
I am not sure if she was there when I sat down or if she
arrived later. I was busy talking to my friends traveling
with me. In the middle of my conversation, I felt a hand
touch my arm. I turned around to see who was touching me.
The young girl looked up at me and said, "Can you help
me? I'm scared."
This was not Alba's first overseas journey, but it was
the first one she had to make alone. She was confused as
to when to get on the plane and how she would find her seat.
I assured her it would be fine and I would help her. Although
Alba's seat on the plane was not near mine, I waited to
board with her, waited as the airline employee verified
her visa, and then made sure she found her assigned seat.
During the flight, I went back and checked on her and helped
her fill out the necessary paperwork she needed for customs.
Once we landed Alba passed me as she was leaving the plane,
all smiles and no fear. She had conquered her fear by facing
it and asking for support.
What a great role model this fourteen-year-old is. She
was afraid, but wasn't afraid to ask for help. How often
in our lives are we fearful, but instead of admitting it
and getting support, we let the fear stop us. Alba was very
afraid, I could see it in her eyes and the way she was holding
herself. But she didn't let that hold her back. She sought
out support, which in itself takes a level of bravery. Often
simply asking for help can be frightening because of the
fear of rejection or judgment.
The gift that Alba gave me was that, by helping her, my
own fear was diminished. By supporting her, I found myself
not focusing on myself, but shifting that focus to one of
support. By supporting her, I was able to move out of my
own fear and tap into my personal strength and power.
Fear can be paralyzing or it can be freeing. Fear can get
us to stop or move forward. The joy in this is the choice.
Alba chose to let the fear move her forward and seek support
and guidance. She didn't let it stop her. She let it enrich
her. By reaching out she discovered in herself an inner
strength and she gained confidence.
Being brave doesn't mean we have to do something alone.
One of the bravest things we can do is ask for help and
show our vulnerability. I believe that one of the most powerful
things we can say is, "I'm afraid. Can you help me?"
Simply by saying it relieves some of the fear and allows
us to move into a space of being open to learning and growing
through the experience.
What are you afraid of? Who can you ask for help?
Fear + Asking for help
"Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence
and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home
and think about it. Go out and get busy." Dale Carnegie
"Fear is a question: What are you afraid of, and why?
Just as the seed of health is in illness, because illness
contains information, your fears are a treasure house of
self-knowledge if you explore them." Marilyn Ferguson
"Fear is that little darkroom where negatives are
developed." Michael Pritchard