clearskies, bluewater

Insights, reflections and creative imaginings for our awakening world

Fearless and fearful

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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?

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Author: SingingBones

When we sing over the bones, we are calling the wild nature, the instinctive soul back, singing it alive again. To live with our wildness intact, is the greatest gift a woman can give herself. "It is the holy poetry and singing we are after." C.P. Estes

9 thoughts on “Fearless and fearful

  1. Love this introspection. I envy Lesley. I wish I was fearless. Sometimes I get angry at myself for having unhealthy fears. We are given an emotion like fear only to keep us from entering a lions den, but not to stop us from living life. Sometimes I let mine stop me. But, ultimately, do you think maybe it all boils down to a fear of death? Or, maybe perhaps, the fear of feeling unloved? Just wondering …
    Thanks,
    Lori

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    • Thanks for your comment. you write you get angry for having ‘unhealthy fears’ I would ask, what does that mean? is there a healthy fear vs. unhealthy fear? Good questions. I don’t think it boils down to just one thing. Fear is a complicated subject, like Love. But I do think that one of the big life lessons for us humans is to learn to overcome our fears, like you wrote, to not let them stop us from living. SB

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      • Well, a healthy fear is when I mentioned that it stops us from entering a bears den. In other words, perhaps the emotion of fear is given to us so that we know not to approach a wild lion as if it’s friendly. It’s supposed to keep us safe from real dangers, not imagined. An unhealthy fear would be like my fear of spiders. I hope that makes more sense as to what I’m trying to say. Interesting topic.

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  2. How do we take the step?

    What about- by fearing not taking it more than taking it?

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    • yes,or you could say, by taking yourself firmly in hand and finding the courage inside to do the thing you are fearing. Once I was about to do something which I wanted very much, and also feared very much. I couldn’t sleep that night, and called a wise friend to ask for advice. She told me to imagine the worst thing that could happen if I went ahead and did the thing. And once I could see through my fear all the way to the end, I saw how it was a huge illusion that I was fearing. That was good advice which I have used many times since. Thanks for reading and commenting. SB

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  3. I fear being paralyzed by fear.

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  4. Pingback: Becoming Fearless! (And a secret gift!) « Skeptycal

  5. Pingback: Iago | Clare Flourish

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