About Fear

Don Barrett_Wonder Valley

A woman whom I dated when we were teens, said to me on social media, “You’re never afraid of anything. If you are, it didn’t stop you.”

I wanted to respond in a knee-jerk fashion and  say, “Yes, I am!” But when I think about it and look over some of my past actions, humbly, I agree I’m not. (Except for snakes. Hate them, but I think that’s more of a phobia.) That does not mean, I do not experience the emotion. Matter of fact, I plow through them like a bull.

But, if I had allowed my fear to overtake me, I would never have boarded a plane to Paris after September 11. I’ve been there six times since then, along with other European, Asian and South American countries. I would never have seen the Mona Lisa, the Eiffel Tower or Versailles. I would never have been to Champagne, Burgundy or Chablis.

I would not be driving a car after the 13 car pile-up from which I miraculously walked away. (I swear there was an angel.) I would have been forever been dependent on mass transit and stayed living in an urban area. I careen at 80 miles per hour some days commuting between homes in California’s low desert and the coastline.

If I stayed in a bad relationship because I was fearful that no one else would come along, I would not be with Nick, a good man with a big heart.

One of my heroes, Viktor Frankl, wrote in “Man’s Search for Meaning,” “Fear makes come true that which one is afraid of.” For me, it means stepping out of being afraid, whether that’s into the known which went awry, starting again or into something I’ve never done.

I’m conscious that we live in a world were fear abounds towards people, places, and things. Watching the news, I should be afraid to take out the garbage. However, I would rather be holding someone’s hand, going somewhere I’ve never been and talking about something I’ve never done instead of sitting there watching the news, complaining how frightened I am.


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