There is a blog here on WordPress by a woman who seems absolutely fearless. Her name is Lesley Carter. She, from the looks of her travel blog, is an extreme adventurer. She has been to at least 33 countries, and found amazing and sometimes, scary things to do in a lot of them. Lesley Carter’s blog is popular, she has thousands of followers and each of her blog posts receives many, many comments. By all appearances, she has conquered fear totally, which is perhaps one reason why her blog is so popular. How many of us wish we could be so fearless as to jump out of airplanes, bungee jump off huge mountain cliffs, dive into frigid oceans, and simply take Life by the horns the way she does? Probably quite a few of us, I being one.
Interestingly enough, Lesley Carter reads, and likes, my blog. And I can guess that she is probably an avid and voracious reader, just like with her other hobbies. Yet I wonder. Very few humans walking the earth in the year 2012 are utterly fearless. Even Achilles had his vulnerable spot. Is there anything that Ms. Carter is afraid of? And if so, what could it possibly be?
Some of our fears are obvious. We know exactly what they are, what they look and feel and smell like, and why we are afraid of them. Those aren’t the ones which really trouble us. I, for example, admit I am afraid to jump out of airplanes or off cliffs. I would most likely never in a million years do such a thing, though I am in awe of those who do. I accept this fear and it doesn’t bother me. But other, deeper, darker fears, trouble me much more. Fears having to do with shadowy feelings which cannot be explained. Or horrifying dreams. I just read another blogger’s post where she described horrific dreams of violence and death which she has recurringly. Those dreams are showing her some of her deepest fears through her unconscious, dream self. No wonder they are frightening, they come directly from her soul into her waking self and wait for her to do something with them, to work with them, try to understand them, shine some light upon them.
I read quite a few blogs these days, and some of them have a lot to do with the shadow parts of ourselves, the things we fear and cannot understand about ourselves and other people. We deal with these feelings in various ways; write prose and poetry and songs about them, start discussion groups, give advice, tell stories. Some choose to try to find solace and hope through spiritual means, some through friends and lovers, and some simply choose to carry their burden alone. There is no panacea that works for everybody. Sometimes the fears are so great that people choose to drown them in substances like alcohol and drugs, sex or entertainment. These don’t satisfy for long enough, and sooner or later the person will find themselves back with their fears and pain and not know what to do with it.
Dear Reader, what do you fear most? Can you express it, is it even conscious? Death, aloneness, the abyss, hell, or maybe another’s wrath? If you can get as far as naming it, that’s a big step. Few of us have the courage to bungee jump off of Life’s cliffs. Yet, there are moments in everyone’s life when that is exactly what we need to do. How do we take that step off into the unknown?