Since Halloween is right around the corner, let’s talk about fear. Is fear the scary movie at the cineplex? A spooky phone call when you’re home alone? A strange noise as you walk through an almost empty parking lot? What’s hiding behind the winter coats in the closet? According to the movies Fear is all of these things.
I don’t watch scary movies. I don’t need scary movies. I know for a fact that the things we ‘think’ go bump in the night, really do exist. Whether you believe or not, I do. But I also believe we control whether or not we let these things scare us.
Fear is so much more than just the movies we watch. Fear can be a living thing that drives us, controls us. My brother won’t sit with his back to a window or door. My best guy friend is the same way. They have to be able to see everyone around them and all the exits from the room.
Fear can be a very emotional experience. Some people cry when they’re scared, some get angry, some withdraw. Our upbringing has a lot to do with how we handle fear, the primal gut-deep fear and emotional fear. Emotional fear is different. It’s the fear of success, failure, being alone, letting someone down, finding the person you want and not knowing what to do with them. It’s the fear of death, dying alone, being hurt by someone we care about, not achieving the dreams we had when we thought we could rule the world.
It’s the fear of looking at ourselves in a mirror and seeing the truth. It’s that nagging doubt in the back of your mind, the one that says “You know this is not right.” We all have that internal voice that knows how to strip us down to the bone and scrape it with a fork. If you listen closely you’ll recognize that voice as someone either you feared or who taught you what to fear or someone who hurt you in some way.
I’m finding that my fears are changing. I’m separating my mother’s baggage from my own and finding a whole new person with very distinct feelings on a lot of things. I’m not afraid of the same things she was. I’m not afraid of a lot of things I thought I was. I’m bolder and braver in some ways. I’m still learning how to be brave in other ways.
One thing I can say without doubt is that I will not let fear stop me from trying something. Whether it’s a blind date, a cooking class, phone sex, a roller coaster, or learning to belly dance, I will not allow myself to use fear as an excuse not to try it at least once. I will not let fear keep me the wallflower my mother thought I should be. I am no shrinking violet. I am a wild rose with velvet petals of flame orange.
Don’t fear the thorns….