Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Acknowledging our fears

Most people suffer from some degree of . There is a whole list of fears or ranging from Acrophobia - fear of heights to Zoophobia - the fear of animals. My list shows about 200 but there are no doubt more.

We don't know how many people we cross in our daily lives are suffering from some form of anxiety, how many are impeded in their daily life by fear. Fear brings torment of the mind and emotions and many learn to function inspite of their fear, but they do not have freedom.

One of the major fears most of us suffer is fear of rejection. I think, and claim, that I am a pretty outspoken person and don't care much what people think, but when the rubber hits the road I realize that is not true at all. We all want approval, to be liked, our view points applauded and our efforts praised.

How many times could we have done something new and exciting but were afraid of failure. How many times have I found myself in a room full of people, I don't know, and I am expected to go up and introduce myself and start making small talk. Horrors!

Funnily enough I could give a lecture to a full room but don't ask me to go to a party where I have to actually meet people. I don't know if that is fear or introversion. Any way fear of strangers is called Xenophobia.

However it is just as well none of us who are writing our blogs have Graphophobia - fear of writing and I am glad I don't suffer from fear of snow, Chionophobia, because I think we are about to get some. I am glad I don't suffer from Pogonophobia - fear of beards or hubby would have to shave and I kind of like his fuzz, and I am glad I don't have to worry about Maieusiophobia any more - fear of getting pregnant, so that just leave Arachnophobia - fear of spiders and that is a fear I am still working to overcome.

I don't mean to make light of anyone's fears, we all have them, but it is a good exercise to try to identify the source of our fears. What is their root? I know my fear of spiders was made worse by someone close to me who had no fear of them, but would pick them up and threaten me with them. It did not help me overcome my repugnance of spiders.

When my children were growing up on the lower Mainland of British Columbia, where there are some very large spiders I tried not to show my fear, because I was aware that fear is often a learned behaviour. If a spider was in the house I would have one of the boys put a glass over it and I would suggest they draw pictures of it or study it until Dad came home. I don't think I fooled them, but none of them are afraid of them either.

I am glad that where I live now there are very few spiders and what I do see are quite tiny, so relocation has helped me overcome that particular fear.

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