I have written about fear before, but something struck me yesterday that I mulled over and decided to write about. Many of our fears are irrational. I’m not talking about true phobias but the everyday flavor of fear. Someone I know is afraid of spontaneous combustion someone else is afraid of being stranded on a dark country road and being murdered. Now these fears are nothing to be laughed at, but are they really rational? What are the chances they will happen? What are you afraid of?
I’m afraid of spiders – not a rational fear as I am much bigger than a puny spider, even the tarantulas we have here are much smaller than I am. Now there are nasty spiders like the black widow and the brown recluse that have painful bites, but they generally don’t kill a person. I know what they look like and where I am likely to see one and have never been bitten by one. My fear of spiders has lessened over the years – I have consciously changed the script that runs in my mind when I see a spider from “nasty little thing – get it away from me” to “look at how amazing this creature is”. Look at how intricate a spider web is and how strong for its size. There is nothing more beautiful than a spider web covered in dew when the first sun hits it in the morning.
My fear isn’t totally gone – I still freak out if I see a spider in the house – but I can control it better. I take deep breaths and tell myself this little creature is useful for trapping other nasty bugs. I may move it outside but I no longer hysterically pound it until it’s nothing more than a stain on the wall.
Bad things happen to people, true. How likely is it that what you’re afraid of is really going to happen? Can you prevent it happening? Is your fear rational?