When I was growing up, it was said that the only thing to fear is fear itself.
But recently I have heard and read multiple comments stating that it is okay to be afraid, that it is healthy and normal.
I vehemently reject this idea.
It is not normal and healthy to be afraid.
While I was thinking about this subject, a recent experience came to memory.
When I was installing the wood stove in our house in Kansas I had to make multiple trips to the roof. I’ve never been fond of ladders, especially using them to get on and off roofs.
I had gone up and down several times that day, each time negotiating the gap between ladder and roof with much trepidation. It was taking me longer to get up and down the thing than the work I needed to do.
Finally at one point a lightbulb went on and I said “What am I doing?”
I realized that there was absolutely no point in being afraid. I realized that if I fell that there would be little I could do about it, it was either going to happen or not. And I realized that fretting about it might actually cause it to occur.
It felt as though a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. From that time on I scampered up and down that ladder like a squirrel.
And I have not been afraid of anything — and I really mean anything — since.
That is not to say that I have been inconsiderate of the consequences of my actions or of events surrounding me. But I am no longer afraid of anything that might happen. It will happen or not regardless of my emotional state. And should something bad ever occur, being afraid will certainly not help matters and could very well make them worse.