Monday, October 14, 2013

Facing Fears

Much to my parents’ dismay, I actually like Halloween.  Since college, I’ve been going to themed haunted houses (I should clarify, not “real” haunted houses, but ones that a production company and actors create) and I even started watching American Horror Story.  What I like most about haunted houses is that I am insanely terrified, but yet I manage to press my way through the house, look my fear in the eye and actually deal with it. I get a rush while going through the house, and the thrilling sense of relief and excitement I get afterwards makes me feel brave and fearless.

Though haunted houses do not represent the fears that we encounter in life outside of a spooky themed house, they provide a great model of how to conquer and face emotional and sometimes psychological phobic fears.

Fear of failure, love, rejection, loneliness, the truth….all of these things would fall into the emotional fears section. Usually unmet expectations drive this fear, and while these aren’t the gripping fears that startle you when you turn a dark corner, they can keep you up in the night or cause anxiety. I had been dealing with an emotional fear when I started this blog a year ago, and I’m proud to say that I’ve faced that fear, dealt with it, and have come out for the better because of it. It’s really not as scary anymore.

Then you have your psychological phobic fears…some people are afraid of cats, spiders, small spaces, the dark, clowns, etc. Don’t be too quick to dismiss these as trivial things that just apply during Halloween. These fears are real and can affect people’s everyday life. I have a friend who has a hard time going on elevators…and it’s not a joke. I’m startled/scared of pigeons that get to close to me, mainly because I don’t want to be pooped on or touched by a pigeon. I imagine that if a day ever comes where I do get pooped on by a bird, that it will force me to deal with that fear and keep it moving…though I’m TOTALLY OK living with my fear of getting pooped on by a bird for the rest of my life – i.e. I don’t ever need to experience that.
That’s the thing about fears…once you face them…they really aren’t fears anymore. They can’t control you. I can’t wait until my annual haunted house outing with my friends next week.  Perhaps there will be a room full of flying pigeons in it…Here’s to facing fears!

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