Overcome Fear of Height

As living creatures, nature has built-in us the instinct of fear for our survival. The creature without fear will probably become a victim of some predators. When we are threatened physically or psychologically, fear is our natural response so that we can fend off our enemies. However, irrational fear can damage us both physically and psychologically.

I am afraid of height and this fear has been with me since my childhood though I don’t remember when it was started. This fear prevents me of climbing open stairs around refinery/plant storage tanks, walking on high bridges, and standing close to the windows of high-rise buildings, etc.

In this November’s Japanese tour with Amazing Grace Choir, we visited the world longest suspension-bridge (明石海峽大橋 – Akashi Kaikyo [Pearl Bridge]). This bridge links the city of Kobe on the mainland of Honshu to Iwaya on Awaji Island by crossing the busy Akashi Strait. Because of my fear of height, I was the only one left behind and unable to see the beautiful views from the observation deck.

I stayed on the ground and took sight seeing around. In the park, there is a Sun Yat-sen memorial hall (孫文記念館) but I did not have time to visit.

The next day, we traveled to south end of  Awaji island 淡路島(あわじしま)located in the eastern Seto Inland Sea 瀬戸内海. We reached  Naruto Park 鳴門公園(なるとこうえん) to visit 渦の道.  It was a beautiful sunny day, the sea water was calm and almost no wind blowing.

Again, I walked a few steps on the Boardwalk and my feet were “frozen” on the spot. Then Pastor Chen walked by, saw me standing still and asked me why? I told him my fear and he smiled and said that his wife has the same fear. He encouraged me to step out and even held my hands to lead me.

He told me to look straight and don’t think about what’s below me. Gradually, I was able to walk slowly, stayed along the center of the Boardwalk. (The photo on the right is from ja.wikipedia) We stopped briefly at each rest stations. There, I sat on the chair while he walked near the observation windows to take photos. We kept going and finally reached the enclosed observation platform. The trail is 450 meters long and has four rest stations along the trail. I was amazed that I overcame my fear though not totally. I could even walk to near the windows and took photos.

I saw our choir members standing near the “Vortex street” gazebos to watch the whirlpool and I was so envy that they had no fear of height. It is 45 meters above the whirlpool on the sea.
Fear of height has deprived me of many opportunities in enjoying the beautiful views of natural. I am grateful that Pastor Chen helped me to overcome my fear though not completely. It will take time and efforts to totally eliminate my fear but this is the starting point. Actually, on the next day, I was able to ride on the skyrail to visit Kan Ka Kei (寒霞溪). Amazingly, there was an annual festival of tea ceremony. The local TV/News even interviewed some of our members and reported on the newspaper and broadcasted on the evening news.

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