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What Fear May and May Not Be.

“Fear is not a betrayal of faith. It is simply a warning that risk is involved.” My friend, Jean Benefield Pinto plucked these words out of today’s musing. As with many broad statements (and although poetry can be incredibly nuanced, in a few short lines, you’re likely to be guilty of some hyperbole!), there’s a lot more to be said about fear.

Our world abounds with unhealthy fear that is sold to us by advertising and newspapers. Fear sells, it seems, far better than joy. And so we see story after story and post after post that give us reasons to be afraid. Too many of us are afraid of too many things — and many of them things that are not real in our lives. When we’re constantly afraid, we should talk to someone about that. And, let me point out, there’s no reason to be afraid about talking to someone!

But fear has a purpose in our lives. It is there to serve as a warning. We’re supposed to pay attention. This musing was inspired by an earlier musing I wrote about telling the truth. Driving to work that Sunday, I realized that I was lying to myself about something important in my life. I was lying because looking at the truth was terrifying. Until I could admit the terror, I couldn’t face the problem and take steps to move along toward a solution. The problem’s not solved, but the anxiety is reducing because I’m working my way out.

My facing the terror and saying it out loud (which is where I process) before there were any solutions caused consternation among friends. But I didn’t need a change of attitude. I needed a different goal and some different ways of doing things. None of those things were going to happen before I allowed myself to say… Oops! Fear. Because after all, I’m the Priestess, I’m supposed to have it all together, eh? Right. not so much.