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A Moose-t Stressful Situation

I went for a walk alone by the river on a path that I hadn’t been on for a couple of years. Unbeknownst to me - due to a river restoration project - the path had been overgrown and attempts were made to deliberately cover it up, but there were fishermen and since it was getting late and rather than finding another place to walk I found the original path and thought I would just have a quick stroll by the river before dark. I found a nice place by the river and had a meditation. Then, as it was nearing dark, I headed back to my car along the overgrown trail. About half way back to the road a large female moose stepped out about five feet away from me. I stood there stunned and had an incredible sense of danger come over me. I had been taught while living in Alaska that more people died from moose attacks than bear attacks. I felt totally frozen and helpless for a moment. I contemplated jumping in the river or climbing a tree - then instinctively decided to bolt to my car as fast as possible. I worried I might run into some of her young, then I knew I would be in big trouble. As I looked over my shoulder I saw that the moose decided not to pursue me and I was greatly relieved. Once I got to my car my body calmed and it was as though nothing happened. I went on with my night.

Contrast this with another very real threat we all could face at any time; recently being in a car accident where everyone was okay, but the car was totaled and it was a few days of inconvenience and several thousand more dollars to get a new car. A truck had turned left right in front of my husband, there was nothing he could do to avoid the collision and it was just a big relief no one was hurt. But for weeks after getting in that accident, and especially once I got my new car, I was very worried something like that might happen again. Driving became a stressful experience for me until I felt safe again.

The point is that we do live in a stressful and relatively dangerous world. I am not fearful of a moose attack (unless I foolishly went on that overgrown trail again) but no matter how careful I drive, the risk of getting in a car accident (maybe an even worse one) is quite real. We have many real threats on a daily basis that can trigger the stress response and create fear, doubt, negativity, and, depending on our experiences, even resentments or anger. I think it takes a lot of courage to live in this crazy world. Being anxious and fearful is very harmful to our being successful in life and becoming our true self. It takes effort, significant awareness, and insight to trust that no matter what happens we will work it out and find a way through, we always have right? Yes, we live in a world where things can go very wrong without warning, but there are many things going right as well and in order to preserve our health and pursue our true path we must focus on the good and find gratitude, joy, and even peace amidst the dangers. Trusting that our wise self will handle whatever comes and all will be well in the end.

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