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What Fear Looks Like


When I was in second or third grade, our class took a field trip to the Jersey Shore. We went to observe marine life (not certain orange people native to Seaside Heights).

I remember two things: 1) My mom, a chaperone, chortled about taking some shrimp home for dinner (I think she was joking, but I was vaguely embarrassed that she even talked), and 2) I learned what a hermit crab was.

Hermit crabs had never done me wrong, but I found them small, stupid, and a bit parasitic; they'd bogart and then hide in seashells they didn't create.

As an adult, when I think of fear, I think of a hermit crab squeezing the life out of a jellyfish. (I don't know if they do this - again, I barely remember anything from the trip). I often liken the jellyfish to my brain and the hermit crab to my fear. When we become scared, it can often feel like a crustacean is squeezing the life out of our brains. Our perception can become distorted, and we don't make the best decisions.

What three things can destroy the hermit crab of fear? 1) Maintaining faith (and this is however you define it, whatever religious or spiritual lens you may have); 2) Maintaining a positive state; and 3) Breathing.


When do all three things (regardless of the circumstances), fear, just like a hermit crab, becomes small stupid, and a bit parasitic.

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