For the most part, I am a brave person; I always have been. Everyone is afraid of something, though, and I am no exception. For example:
- I used to trail run alone and then one of our local girls made national news when she was assaulted and killed while running the same trails I ran. I now fear being alone where there are places for people to hide and potentially hurt me.
- I’m not afraid of heights… unless my kids are with me. The thought of one of them getting too close to the edge of a ledge, ridge, or cliff makes me panic.
- I never used to be afraid to die… until I had kids. Now the thought of leaving them for any reason horrifies me.
Some fear is healthy. Fear keeps us from doing stupid things… like playing with rattlesnakes, breeding black widows in the closet, and using port-o-potties.
Some fear is irrational. My irrational fears are:
- Storm drains. You know, the kind along the curb? I go out of my way to avoid stepping over those. When I have to, I break out in a cold sweat, my heart rate increases, and I can hardly breathe. Why? I don’t know.
- Dirty restrooms. And yes, port-o-potties are included in this category. I literally have nightmares about having to use dirty restrooms.
- Clowns. Okay, maybe this isn’t an irrational fear. Unless you’re a clown, of course.
- Dolls. I hate them; I know they hate me too and will kill me when they get the chance.
I’m a firm believer that some fears need to be faced head on. It’s hard to beat the feeling of overcoming fears—it’s exhilarating! Sometimes it’s best to expose yourself to your fear just to show that there was no reason to be afraid. It’s very empowering. Does that mean I’m going to jump into a storm drain that is filled with clown-dolls and requires that I use a port-o-potty to hide from said clown-dolls when they chase me with their sharp teeth and bloody claws? Oh, heck no! What it does mean is that when I fall, I get back up and try again. It means when I want to do something, I try to not let fear hold me back… like writing, snorkeling, and mountain biking.
Fear. We all fear something. Fear can protect. It can hold us back. Some fears are silly to other people. Some are shared. Sometimes facing them can reap invaluable rewards.
What are some of your fears?