Watch out for alligators!

Prior to today, I have only seen alligators at the zoo and I must admit they do not inspire me or even intrigue me, even though I respect them and their existence that is, from a distance! Then the story changed as I was in the water kayaking alongside seven small and very large alligators. I must admit I was concerned and worried at first sight. I was with a group of kayakers from our area and we set off from Lake Myakka, a Florida State Park fresh water lake. As we were paddling along, I felt as though I was the only person even slightly concerned so I started to ask questions in order to get the reaction of some of my fellow kayakers. One woman who has always lived in Florida began to share with me some of the history and background about the alligators in this part of the country. She said they do not eat frequently and they actually sleep or bask in the sun a lot. There were probably many more alligators underneath us in the water but I tried not to focus on that

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thought because as she said, they usually do not bother you unless aggravated. In fact, humans are considered to be too large for alligators to eat but don't be foolish and above all do not go near their nests; just like humans, if you threaten them, they may attack.

Once I started

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to feel safe in the water surrounded by alligators, I was able to relax and simply enjoy the scenery. As I relaxed, I realized that my anxiety was ungrounded and that I actually had nothing to fear. Then a smile came across my face and I began to see how fear could cause us to freeze and clutch. I started to think fear is a terrible thing it can destroy and harden us.

My message to myself and to you is: "Don't let fear rule your life." I felt apprehension when I saw several alligators in and around the water's edge but instead of giving in to fear, I choose to examine what it was that caused me to feel fear in the first place. Then I was able to move beyond this state as I decided not to let fear run me. I also realized that my apprehension was really ungrounded and in fact, once I saw that I was not in danger nor was I even in their sights, I relaxed and enjoyed being in nature in a setting that was unique and one that I probably will not be in again.

Fear destroys! I learned that lesson the hard way, many years ago and I do not want to go through that experience again. I have decided that I do not want to live my life through the influence of fear. My life would be much better served if I release my fear(s) and instead ask God and my Angel friends to help me and protect me from harm. When I do that, I am free to go on with my day as I let go and let God take over. That approach is not only freeing but it is also relaxing because I have given the battle to the Lord and the victory is now mine. How refreshing?

When fear or panic gets into our minds and whispers its ideas and thoughts, we tend to not only listen but to take that information to heart and let it influence our choices and decisions. Fear stops our creativity and stifles our sound judgments that is why I encourage you to learn as I have challenge your fears, ask questions, examine the facts and determine whether they are directed towards you or not. Don't jump to conclusions but instead stay grounded and move through your process as you ask for guidance because you trust in God's voice.

Joan Marie Ambrose

Author, Creative Writer, Motivational Speaker

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Blog Date: 
Monday, April 1, 2013