Say that fast three times.

It means the fear of pandas.

Oprah Winfrey has been noted to say there are really only two emotions… Fear and Love.

I can buy that.

Fear is generally an unpleasant emotional response to something that is perceived as a threat. This perceived threat, whether rational or irrational, triggers our bodies and our brains to respond.

Fear generally triggers the autonomic responses of fight or flight.

Unfortunately the outcomes of our fears are in bed with our bodies’ responses to that stimulus by way of physical and/or behavioral responses.

That fight or flight autonomic response can branch to manifest physically in a multitude of negative ways: insomnia, headaches, nausea or unplanned weight loss or gain. Those responses can also branch to behavioral responses like: anxiety, panic, doubt or avoidance.

The majority of our human fears turn out to be irrational in that the threats ‘perceived’ by us are usually unfounded in reality. They are just NOT real. And Fear, as we all well know, is the first cousin to ‘Worry’. And once again, ‘Worry’, according to the Bible, is disobedience.

Why can’t we see that ‘Fear’ and ‘Worry’ are counter productive? ‘Worry’ is not a positive or productive activity. We should replace ‘Worry’ in our lives with positive actions. It can easily be replaced by visualizing the most positive outcome possible.

Recently I discovered I have a fear of pandas and probably for a very good reason. They keep appearing. Pandas make me fearful; and, they make me worry.

At first, all you can see is the ridiculously cute black and white furry Asian teddy bear. On the outside he looks adorable and all you want to do is give him a big hug. But if you get too close you see his giant claws and realize he could tear you apart and eat you as a snack! (shudders)

Remember fight or flight? It is otherwise, known as a coping mechanism. Your body now copes as best as it can to interact with this fear. It matters little at this point if the fear is rational or irrational. Your very smart body kicks into gear to stay and fight the panda or to run away. And depending on your previous level of skill and success in dealing with pandas it boils down to making a choice.

Pandas come in many forms. Do you stay and fight? Or do you run like hell?

The choice is yours.

I know this. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I have a healthy fear of pandas; and, depending on the panda, if possible, I like to avoid encounters with them. This doesn’t mean I am afraid to fight them. It just means I choose to either avoid them or step aside and let them go on ahead.

Ailuropodamelanoleukophobically yours,

Nadine Bodine

Your VERY Best friend in the whole wide world 🌎

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