Irene the Dream or Irene the Nightmare?

“I’ll see you in my dreams!” I suppose your age will affect whether the blog title reminds of a song or the current hurricane.

Fear is a powerful emotion. By their own admission many people are “freaking out” over the possibilities Irene is offering. 

On a somewhat analytical level it’s interesting to see how people are reacting to the threat. It’s reassuring when the reaction is relatively calm planning. It’s disconcerting when the reaction is “freaking out.”

First of all I’m really sure what “freaking out” is.  Apparently it has something to do with a “heightened emotional state” according to the Free Dictionary. I gather it can apply to different emotions: fear, anger, excitement.

Understand that I’m not making fun of people who are, perhaps, reacting strongly to this threat. (Notice I did not say “over-reacting.” I think folks are pretty much entitled to react as they please, up to and including freaking out.) I do think that ultimately it’s about perspective and I’m afraid I do not totally understand the value of freaking out.

I do understand the value of emotion. But as human beings we have a wonderful if mystical ability to balance emotion and logic.

How often do we say (or hear said) something about needing to accept things we can’t control? We certainly can’t control a hurricane; we can only control how we think about it–and what we do about it.

In the song about Irene the promise is “I’ll see you in my dreams.” While it wasn’t the intent of the song to imply that a dream-based visit to Irene was going to be better than a real one… well, suffice it to say there are some questions here–just as there are questions about the impending visit from Irene the hurricane.

It is easy (and in an odd way, fun) to be afraid. This Irene is not in our dreams, but we may find ourselves thinking she’s going to be our worst nightmare. Focusing on the dream or the nightmare moves us out of the natural order of things. This Irene is just a hurricane.

By the way, if you’d like to escape from worrying about Irene the Hurricane for a few minutes, you might try researching Irene the dream. I’ll bet you didn’t know (spoiler alert) that the song includes a component of using suicide as a coping mechanism.

Whatever the events taking place in our lives, there are plenty of options besides freaking out or considering suicide. We may not be able to control those events, but we sure can control how we think about them and what we do about them. Controling how we think and what we do has the power to create that balance between emotion and logic.

No dreams, no nightmares. It’s a nice place to be.

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