What Do You Fear?

Fear is perhaps the biggest motivator in our lives. It can also be the thing that stops us the most. I haven't met anyone yet who doesn't have some sort of fear. Some are controlled by their fears more than others. Some look at fear as a challenge, an obstacle to overcome. And some use fear as a wall to hide behind.

I write about fear a lot in my books. Usually to a varying degree depending on the type of story. But for Stealing Darkness, the fear was very real and very immobilizing. Minn Sterling isn't afraid of the psychic gift she inherited, but she is afraid of the psychological cost that comes with such a gift. She's afraid that she'll end up like her mother and that she won't be able to handle the gift. And she's afraid that she'll never be able to find the man behind the murder of three women. Murders that she can hear, but can't stop.

I'm sure there are those that would find this kind of ability illogical. But I believe that we all have varying degrees of abilities, mostly depending on how much we utilize them. Are you following that lucky feeling straight to the store to buy a lottery ticket? Then you're utilizing your intuition. But what does intuition have to do with fear? So much and more. Fears are generally based on a personal event or trauma, but fears can also happen without logical reasoning. I have learned that fear can also be a learned behavior. If a parent lives their lives fearing the things around them then they can pass it along to their children. And it goes on and on and on.

What am I afraid of? I'm terribly claustrophobic, I hate small places and being confined. I blame this on the episode of Winnie the Pooh where he's stuck in Rabbit's hole and they leave him there until he is able to loose enough weight to wiggle his way out. I'm scared of making a fool of myself or calling attention to myself. Some wouldn't consider this to be a big fear, but as a child it caused me to withdraw and be incredibly shy. I was always acutely aware that at any moment someone could jump up and tell me that I was horrible and should go away. I've managed to counteract this one by becoming an author and workshop presenter. If you're acutely afraid of putting yourself out there, the worst thing imaginable is to put yourself out for criticism. It took me a long time to figure out that criticism can't kill me, but my fear could stop my life.

Surprisingly, some of the things that scare others do not scare me. I've been a paranormal investigator and spirit intuitive and I've found that spirits don't scare me. Standing in dark rooms in odd houses in the middle of the night don't scare me. The living are often more scary then those that have passed. It doesn't mean that we shouldn't be cautious when dealing with spirits. There are good and bad, just like people. Many spirits retain the same personality they held in life. Especially, if they are lingering for some reason or trying to make contact. If they were insistent, stubborn, sometimes caustic and overbearing in life, well then, they are probably going to come through that way in the afterlife. There are others, some whose intentions are to create fear in people. Just like there are people in everyday life who feed off fears and negative emotions, there are those on the other side who are able to connect the same way.

So what are your fears and how do you overcome them? Leave a comment and share some of this insight. Maybe it'll help someone else, or at the very least, give insight for a writer's work.

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