The places that scare you

"When we try to avoid the discomfort we call fear our world grows smaller and smaller..."
--Cheri Huber, The Fear Book

Remember being scared as a child? I do. Lying in my bed while the shadows of monsters or scary ghosts danced on my walls, I thought that if I could be totally still they might not notice me. When I was 6 or 7, my grandmother and I watched a scary movie with a human sacrifice and devil worshippers and for months afterward I would whisper, "I hate the devil, I hate the devil!" as I ran back to my bed from the bathroom at night (I'm still getting over that one).

Tonight, just a few minutes ago, we were sitting in the living room when I heard a child sobbing (there are four in the house right now). I realized that Finn was crying in his bed (heartbreaking). He never does that. At bedtime, I convinced him to turn off the light that he normally leaves on in his room because we're trying to get the baby to sleep in there with him. The poor guy felt scared and all alone.

Some fears (like being scared of the dark or human sacrifice) are loud and obvious, but it's the other kind of fear...the subtle fears... that masquerade as resistance or anger, that are harder to recognize. I'm interested to look at how fear might be shrinking my world. I'll get back to you after some introspection.

How about you? How does fear manifest in your life?

(The quote above is from a Zen monk who runs a monastery close to where I live.  She writes mindfulness books that are powerful yet easy reading and practical.)


  1. I love the fear book. One of my favorites. I just recently bought 'there's nothing wrong with you.' I haven't started it yet.

    Poor little Finn. I used to line up my stuffed animals around my bed. The lion was the first line of defense. I figured he would eat anyone before they could get to me.

    With that said, we all know you love the devil;)

  2. I fear declining health and the consequences of growing old. Attitude is everything, but difficult to maintain.


  3. Thanks for reading Desi (as usual) and Dad. I'm scared of growing old too. Dad: I think that you'll grow old gracefully like your mom. xo

  4. hi Coleen,
    you should try and read the book full catrostophe living by jon kabat zinn
    it is very good at getting us to live in the moment.
    they say been minfull and breathing can help cure everything including anxiety panic attacks atc.

  5. @anonymous: thanks for reading and commenting. I actually have read that book. I love it and refer to it often.


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