I was driving at 3 am this morning. The bewitching hour, they call it, I think. As I turned off the freeway, I heard a loud “POP.” It wasn’t a regular pop, it actually made me feel like my ears were going to bleed. It was loud, violent and completely unexpected.
I kept driving. I mean who wants their life to turn into a scene out of a Lifetime horror movie?
I eventually pulled over and inspected my vehicle. The back window was completely shattered. My car had severe body damage. I broke down into tears. My car is my work office and my most important tool. Someone or something damaged one of the physical things I value most. Beyond that, I feared I could have been the one severely hurt instead of my car.
My body began to shake and I felt nausea come over me. Panic and fear riddled my body. I could feel the acidity build within me. My body had become toxic from the shock. I could barely walk as my legs were shaking uncontrollably.
I tried to pull my body out of this state by counting my blessings and being thankful but sometimes biology takes over and your words need to catch up with it.
So what happens to our bodies when we get this scared? I have read that feelings of intense pain are closely connected to our survival “fight or flight” mode.
Fear is processed by a part of the brain that mostly registers feelings and senses rather than thoughts. The thinking part of the brain is temporarily blocked until the body recovers from trauma. So that’s why my own positive words could not calm me down!
Not only does fear shut off the smart part of our brain, it also triggers some serious adrenaline. My legs were shaking, my heart was racing and I lost my breath because my body was getting ready for a big fight or a big flight. In this case, I think it wanted to fight in order to protect myself and my injured car.
As blood surges to parts of our body to help it fight or flight, rather than calmly think, it requires physical action to re-balance the blood flow within our bodies. Since I didn’t actually go fight anyone, my legs began to tremble as a result. Adrenaline wanted me to get crazy but there was no outlet in this particular moment.
It took hours to calm myself down but I was able to use the power of my mind, heart and spirit to conquer the biological effects of shock and fear. And while it took some time for my mind to catch up with my body, I am sure glad it finally did.