Fear

Mom has always been an avid reader. She also has a fear of snakes. So in my younger years I would cut out pictures of snakes and slip them into books she was reading and then wait for the inevitable scream. I also put a plastic mouse in the oven to scare her, but found that it’s typically better to do that when the oven is not being preheated to bake cookies.

Many of you know I was in Haiti during the big earthquake on January 12, 2010 (can’t believe it has been that long). A few months later I was sitting at a traffic light in Sioux Falls and a cement truck came rumbling up behind me. I had a panic moment that brought back fear, before I recognized it was the truck that had caused the movement and vibrations.

Our granddaughter is getting to the age where she’s more aware and more afraid. So why are some people frightened by everything and some almost nothing? Why do fears develop into phobias or why would fear paralyze a person from even leaving their home? How do we balance appropriate fear and unhealthy fear? I guess I have more questions than answers.

I was listening to a conversation with Brad Lomenick (author of Catalyst Leader) and one of his comments was, “Courage is not the absence of fear.” Thought that was a good insight. Just because we aren’t afraid of trying something new, doesn’t mean we have the courage to move forward.

So I’m afraid that’s all I have on the topic of fear.

P.S. As a kid I walked up on a rattlesnake, so not a big fan of snakes either. Just don’t tell mom where my books are.

4 thoughts on “Fear

  1. The apostle John said, “Perfect love casts out all fear.” As you stated, the opposite of fear is not courage, but perhaps the opposite of fear is love.

  2. The current theory about PTSD is related to this topic. In terrible traumatic situations, almost everyone has trauma related symptoms, yet most people find a way through them. However, some people get stuck. Lack of support, negative beliefs, multiple previous and subsequent traumas can interfere with a person experiencing the trauma in a way that they can learn “that was then this is now” and interferes with learning lessons that the lets the person move forward. In such cases, the person tends to avoid and the avoidance prevents the learning that lets them move on.

    So courage in not the lack of fear; courage is facing the fears.

    I hope it is clear that I am in no way putting down those who struggle with traumatic symptoms. There is almost always reasonable and understandable situations for how things got the way they are. At the same time, there is hope for them to move forward.

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