Fear

noun:

an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger.

I don’t remember when my fear of the dark began. It’s been a constant. Flashlights, candles, sunlight and the handy-dandy light bulb have become my friends over the years. Habitually reaching into a room to turn on the light before entering, I have enjoyed the rich quiet offered by the dark…in movies, television, art, but not in person. For over thirty years, the rituals that I have performed at night, have been performed inside a well-lit room, unless I absolutely had to be outside.

Then something interesting happened, after years of experimenting with night lights and t.v. screens, bathroom and hallway lights, kitchen lights and jar candles, I turned everything off.

I sat there, in the silence, in the dark, and I just waited. What am I so afraid of. I already know what’s there in the dark. I know what creatures lurk, what monsters wait, so what am I so afraid of…I already know that it’s there. Maybe the jump scare? Maybe not? Either way, it will still be there. Neither candle nor flashlight, or a room full of lamps is going to make them not be there, or be what they are. So what is my fear accomplishing? Nothing of course, it isn’t a remedy, a cure, an armament against life, against any danger.

I sat there, in the dark and it was calm and enveloping, not the strangling bear hug of the sun, but a cool compress on a long lasting trepidation.

Fear is helpful. Balanced with logic and common sense and a spoonful of Ockham’s Razor, fear gives us that warning, our built-in guardian angel, letting us know when something just doesn’t feel right. Our guides sometimes use it as a tool to show us something that we are just not quite seeing.

But when it become irrational, illogical, when it becomes a dark place that we can go to for the drama or because we have never bothered working on our own darkness, it becomes something that eats away at our power, our options, even tearing away the path that we’re on. Fear becomes our safety net, our excuse.

What has fear stopped you from? What has fear protected you from? What fears are you still working on?

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