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Self Improvement: Facing Fear

Updated on September 15, 2012
A life without fear is peaceful
A life without fear is peaceful | Source
Life is like a deep sea of calmness without fear
Life is like a deep sea of calmness without fear | Source
Today this author is free of fear
Today this author is free of fear | Source

What do you fear?

This article is the result of an article I wrote recently about Ted Bundy. My friend Rolly Chabot responded with the following comment:

“Hi Billy... Thank you for this. A hard thing to write about. Like you I was raised in a time when it was safe for boys and girls to ride their bikes for miles. To seek adventure where it led them and to do without fear.

Reading this reminds me of the constant vigilance parents are standing at. The fact we have a need for alarm systems in our homes. We are living in a far different world than i those days. We have become hardened by listening to the violence on the news, what we see on the TV and the movies we watch. Numbed really until it hits home or down the street. It is so sad that we have come to this today. So very sad.”

I then started thinking about the nature of fear and I wondered why we as a community seem to live in fear much more than we once did. From the time when I was a kid during the 50’s and 60’s to today there has been what I would describe as a quantum leap in societal fear. Many of our daily actions seem to be dictated by fear.

As Rolly mentioned, growing up back in our day there was seemingly no fear. We never locked our doors at night. We had no seatbelts, no bicycle helmets, no concerns about being shot by an enraged driver and although we had evil like Ted Bundy living in our midst we never concerned ourselves with the possibility of unfathomable horrors.

All that seems to have changed. I see signs daily of fear in our society and I doubt seriously if living in Olympia is any different from living in Topeka or Skokie or Tallahassee with regards to fear. So that leads me to wonder…..

What do you fear?

I’LL BE GLAD TO START WITH MYSELF

This is an interesting question for yours truly. I once lived in fear but it was buried so deep in my psyche that I couldn’t even vocalize it. I was afraid that those around me would discover who I really was and if that happened I would never have friends or loved ones. I was so disgusted with myself that I chose to live a lie rather than risk being discovered for who and what I was.

I have said often that I did not fear death in the past. Even when I almost died in 2006 I did not fear death. I did not quit drinking because I feared dying from the disease. Still to this day death has no hold over me, and I no longer fear people discovering who and what I am because I now love the person I have become.

I do not worry about friends or loved ones dying or being hurt. Although I have a healthy awareness of the increase in crime I do not fear it. Bev and I still do not lock our doors at night nor do we lock our car. I think that’s an important distinction by the way: being aware of crime and disease or whatever is much different than fearing those things.

I made a conscious decision in 2006 never again to allow fear to dictate my life and there is a wonderful freedom in that decision.

So, back to the original question: what do you fear?

THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS

Are you afraid of dying? You certainly wouldn’t be alone! What is it about dying that frightens you? Do you have a fear of heights or drowning, being poor or being the victim violence? Hundreds of thousands fear those things and much more.

Are you afraid, as many are, of failure or intimacy, losing your job or perhaps commitment? Maybe you are afraid of being alone or of being rejected! Many among you are afraid of the dark, spiders, flying, public speaking and/or big dogs. Again, very common and you have many out there who can relate. How about the fear of confined spaces or of falling in love? Crime certainly has to be at the top of the list for some; with the continual news stories of drug-related crimes, gangs, rapes and murders it appears that we live in a very scary world, one worth fearing for sure.

WHY DO WE FEAR?

Now we are getting into the nuts and bolts of this subject of fear. It’s one thing to know what you fear and quite another to know why you fear it.

I have known quite a few people who were afraid of physical confrontations and in particular getting in a fight. Mind you they had never been in one but they were terrified of ever having it happen to them. Now I gotta tell you that I grew up fighting. As a small kid and pre-teen I was constantly fighting my way up the social ladder in response to bullying. Did I enjoy getting hit and, I might add, hit often? Of course not; I was always dreading the next fight because of the inevitable pain. However, I still fought because I knew to not fight would hurt much worse. I was raised to demand respect and if respect cost me some bruises and cuts then so be it. I was determined to be a person who faced unpleasantness head-on no matter the cost.

So why are there so many out there who fear and what is the source of their fear?

Maybe they fear violence because they have witnessed it in the past. Maybe they fear big dogs because they were bitten once by a German Shepherd or maybe they fear spiders because they were traumatized as a child by some unfortunate encounter with a big, hairy one.

Few if any fears are irrational; there is always some reason for the fear. Psychologists will tell us that many fears are based on a fear of the unknown, that we fear what we have not experienced or we do not understand. Now I think we are getting to the nitty-gritty of the matter. One logically should not fear drowning since they would have never experienced it and yet many people have the fear of drowning. Many fear death and yet they have never died; in other words, they fear the unknown.

In these hard economic times many fear losing their job or their home, terrified of being homeless and yet I have known many who were homeless and found a way to not only survive but in fact be happy. In other words, once they had faced what they had feared they discovered that they had the ability to overcome that fear and if not thrive at least function and move forward.

My father was perhaps the bravest man I have ever known. I spent twenty years with him and never saw him afraid until the last year of his life. He had a mild heart attack (is there such a thing?) in November of 1968 and he changed drastically after that. I saw a man suddenly fear for his life and the final three months of his life he drank heavily and was visibly afraid. For the first time in his life he was facing an unknown that he could not understand and he was afraid.

What do you fear?

FEAR MUST BE FACED AND OVERCOME

There is no easy solution for fear but I am convinced that whatever it is you fear it must be faced or it can become debilitating. Whether it be through the help of a counselor, therapist or psychologist or simply by “strapping on some balls and being a man” as my grandfather was fond of saying, fear must be overcome and it takes a willingness to face that fact and act upon it.

I do not believe man was put on this planet to live in fear. We were born and given the abilities to live life to the fullest and to do otherwise is to cheat ourselves of all the wonders that await us.

Should we be aware of the crime in our cities and take steps of precaution so that we are not victims? Of course; to do otherwise would be foolishness, but to live sequestered in our safe little homes because of the fear of crime is unnecessary and self-defeating. Besides, as Ted Bundy and others have proven to us time and time again, the concept of a safe little home is a fantasy.

Should we be aware of the dangers of hiking in the backcountry? Of course, but to deny ourselves the joy of nature because we fear a possible bear attack is beyond comprehension for me.

Should we be aware of those out there who would break our hearts in a relationship and be wary before committing to a partnership? Of course, but to refuse intimacy because of fear is to cheat ourselves of the profound joy that love can bring.

There is no easy solution for fear. There is also no substitute for living to the fullest.

What do you fear?

2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

To read my Kindle book on Lifestyle Choices go to:

http://www.amazon.com/Lifestyle-Choices-ebook/dp/B007ZV9G2U/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1336064586&sr=1-3

For more Lifestyle Choices see the following

http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/Saying-Goodbye-To-A-Life-That-Wasnt-Working

http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/Lifestyle-Choices-Becoming-The-Man-I-Want-To-Be

http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/Lifestyle-Choices-Making-A-Difference

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    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 5 years ago from Hawaii

      You're right - fears have roots, even if strange ones. For example, I watched The Wrath of Kahn when I was way too young for it. I was horrified by the bug things Kahn puts in people's ears. I started sleeping with my hair pulled over my ears at night, even though I rationally realize that would not really keep anything out of my ears, because I was able to sleep if my ears felt protected. I did this for so long, now I have difficulty sleeping without my ears covered! I'm no longer sfraid of imaginary brain eating Kahn creatures, but it's become a habit. Fears really do become a habit and can control your life, if you let them.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Natasha, you are first on board this morning and thank you for stopping by. What are you doing on a computer on a work morning? :) I did many things similar to that when I was young; I loved horror movies and I paid the price for years growing up.

      Have a wonderful weekend my biking friend!

      bill

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 5 years ago from Hawaii

      When I post early on Sundays, I'm also at work! I work all weekend, every weekend. I actually use my iPad to get online when there's nothing going on. Right now I'm waiting for a school field to arrive so I can try to teach them something about history. =)

    • angela martinez67 profile image

      Angela Martinez 5 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Beautiful Bill :)thanks for sharing. u just hit it right there while i'm trying to shake off that certain fear in my soul that refrains me from experiencing life at its fullest when life can be simple and be happy as it is. But i'm learning...it takes time i know, but will get there soon.

    • TravelAbout profile image

      Katheryn 5 years ago from United States

      Billy

      "I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

      -Frank Herbert, Dune, "Litany Against Fear", 1965

      I really like the "ode to Bank of America". I have a real personal dislike for the too big to fail banks and BoA is on the top of my list!

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 5 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      Hello bill...wow what a great hub..it is so true...i used to be fear of death..but knowing Jesus as my personal friend took the fear away...i remember those days we could leave our doors unlocked and we stayed out all day playing till dark...your hub is wonderful....debbie

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good luck with those school kids Natasha! I'm sure they will be enraptured by you....or not. :) If they are middle school kids then nothing will enrapture them so I'm hoping for younger.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Angela, change takes great time...all we can do is move in the right direction. Blessings to you my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Travel, great quote and so right on! Yes, big banks are parasites of monstrous proportions and I dislike them as well. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a great comment.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Debbie, you are so right. We have two options when thinking about death...either there is a God in which case we should rejoice at the time of our death or there is not a God and there is nothingness...still, nothing to be afraid of. Thank you my friend and have a blessed weekend.

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 5 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      Well written and said Bill. I remember those days as a child when we bicycled for miles and stayed out late on summer nights and the doors never locked.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mark, I'm afraid those days are long gone. Fear permeates this society of ours and I doubt it will get better. Too bad! My best to you my friend and if you ever need an ear to listen I'll be around.

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Fear is a really interesting topic. I do think the biggest fear is of the unknown. I certainly believe in facing fear head on.

      Fear - when you think about it - is such a powerful emotion, it causes our heart to race, sweating, shaking hands, our senses are super sized. That jolt kicks in and you have a few seconds to decide - fight or flight?

      Great job!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      bill....I am so glad you asked this question and I appreciate even more, your slant on this topic.

      I'm trying to distinguish for myself between genuine FEAR and the concept of a "phobia"....if you follow me....and if, in fact there is a distinction.

      The reason I say this, is because I think of a phobia as a sort of nusiance...eg. heights, snakes, spiders, etc.....and a fear as an overwhelming dread that is disruptive to your sanity and daily life.

      Am I being too analytical... going too deep? The thing is, I can easily deal with my fear of heights by avoiding certain siuations or "planning ahead."....I'm even quite sure WHY I have this phobia, so it doesn't really cause me much alarm.

      However, the constant catch in my chest, knot in my gut and cloud above my head...(an obsession?) that causes me to feel cheated of the joy and peace we strive for....is the result of having lost far too many young, vibrant and adored loved ones. Having to cope with such egregious loss and pain with every movement. The other shoe continually threatens to drop...(paranoia?)

      I realize that I have just this minute, "thought aloud."...because this is all I have to say. I cannot conclude with a profound point....just a huge question mark.

      Great hub, bill. UP+++

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Kelly and I love your new profile picture! You are a beauty for sure! I agree with you about fear...the physical reactions are our body's attempt to protect itself or so I was told...interesting subject!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, the fear that you described at the end is neither obsession nor paranoia in my opinion...it is a gut-wrenching fear born from gut-wrenching pain and no matter what name you give it, it is very, very real.

      Many times when I write hubs like this I'm asking the same questions as you in the form of a hub! I know fear is harmful for us but knowing it and changing it are two entirely different things.

      And does one want to change it? Maybe the defense mechanisms are so firmly in place that happiness is found through a sort of mind-shut down, where one corner of our brain simply does not allow anything threatening to approach or be recognized. The ultimate security package. :)

      More questions, very few answers. Thank you my dear!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      bill....Yes, yes and yes. Refusing to allow....a natural response mechanism....I can live with that.....which is good, because I DO live with it.

      "Happy Mother's Day" to Bev!!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, thanks, Paula, and Happy Mothers' Day to you as well! I greatly appreciate you my friend.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

      What do I fear? I've had a lucky life, and lived a life without great fear. It's hard to comprehend that for some, fear is always with them.

      I think that my greatest fear is not dying myself, but of people I love dying. It's happened often enough at my age that the reality is with me. People we love die. Sometimes it leaves a hole in your life that never really heals.

      But we can't live life with dread hanging over our heads. My solution is choosing to be happy by living in the moment, enjoying what I have right now.

      Great thought provoking topic! Voted up and shared!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Stephanie, you and I share similar thoughts. I live in the moment as well and refuse to have my life dictated by concerns over what might happen. Thank you my friend and Happy Mother's Day to you!

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 5 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      "I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." FRANK HERBERT, Dune. :o)

    • jeanihess profile image

      jeanihess 5 years ago from Cape Town South Africa

      The fear is mine:

      My unformed questions

      About unnamed things

      About myself

      And my responses to my world

      And the answers that can not come

      Until I call their names

      Claiming my right to control;

      To take fear back within myself.

      Transcending it

      And passing way beyond.

      Wider horizons now;

      Greater depth-

      New insights brings new wisdom

      Lifting free my wings

      To soar.

      © Jeanihess

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      TT, I love that quote. Fear must be faced or it will eat us alive and that doesn't sound like fun to me. :) Thank you my dear and have a wonderful weekend in North Dakota!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jeanihess, that is beautiful and thank you for sharing it. Blessings and peace to you and yours.

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 5 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      My pleasure, billy! I hope you have a sunny and beautiful weekend, my friend. :)

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 5 years ago from Western NC

      Omigosh - as I was reading, my mind flooded with so many thoughts to share. Let's see...I do fear spiders. Not like I used to. After doing so much work in the garden, insects don't bother me quite as much, but they still do freak me out. I think it was the ant hill I sat on when I was about five and they crawled all over me and I ended up at the hospital with hundreds of ant bites. Now, I don't like things crawling on me.

      But then I thought about the whole culture of fear thing and interestingly, there is LESS crime now per capita than before, AND there are less countries at war than ever before (believe it or not) - I just read that in an article in Mother Earth News. The author surmised that in a culture where we have to "keep the news going" - bad news sells and good news doesn't. I wonder if the media has had a larger role than we give it credit for when it comes to a culture of fear.

      Lastly, the whole homeless thing. Thanks to people like you, I'm staring my fears in the face. I might have some unexpected opportunities, but amazingly, I always have to think, well, hmm, I've made it 32 (almost 33) years with a roof over my head, enough food to eat, clothes to wear and even a few extras. If I've made it this far, well, then, who's to say that that won't continue? You're exactly right: many times our worries and fears don't manifest themselves. I grew up with a mother who is a worry-wort - bad. She instilled that in me, or maybe it's hereditary. In any case, I have to meditate a lot to keep the worries at bay. In any case, I think this is one of my favorite hubs by you - so thought provoking and it really made me look at my own life. Thanks, friend. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      TT, believe it or not, and I'm skeptical, we are supposed to see 80 degrees this weekend. Bev and I are going to Mt. Rainier tomorrow and I'm pumped.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cyndi, that's why I write. I like to see people take a look at the important issues...someone called me an essayist today and I guess that's correct. I don't really write articles for HubPages as much as I write essays about life. My niche I guess!

      That's interesting about crime being down and wars...I didn't know that.

      I was once homeless for exactly one week...not as frightening as some might think..I slept in my truck at nights and spent the days looking for work. There is very little that life can throw at me now that I would fear.

      You can do it Cyndi! You have a fantastic support system in that man of yours and two people can make it through anything together.

      Have a great weekend; we are going to the mountain tomorrow.

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 5 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      I am SO jealous! Mike has to work and it's supposed to be nice around here too. I'm hoping we'll be able to catch the Wild Horse Races in Miles City on Sunday. :) Enjoy your weekend on the mountain!!!

    • mollymeadows profile image

      Mary Strain 5 years ago from The Shire

      You make such a good point about taking a vacation from all of that and living without fear. But -- when you said you don't lock your doors at night -- you still scared me. For heaven's sake -- *lock your doors*, Billybuc!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      TT...have fun! See ya!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Molly, we have three dogs. They may not be vicious but nobody is entering this home without us knowing about it. Thank you for your concern and for taking the time to read my latest. Have a great weekend.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Fear can really stop people in their tracks.. I have had to face some very big fears in my relatively short life and lived through some things that I do not wish on anyone. With facing those challenges I find that few things now scare me. A good discussion you have here Bill.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I remember those day when you could go to bed at night and not worry about locking your doors. I think listening to the news puts fear into your mind these days. We have to get a grip on reality, you must build your strengths and know your weaknesses. It helps to know how you will stand when fear comes your way. As a Christian, I have come to believe that fear can cripple you if you let it.. prayer will help you to stand. Great topic and one to contemplate upon.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Christy, although I am sorry you had to face those challenges I have no doubt that they gave you a perspective that helps and will help you in the future. Thank you for stopping by my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Teaches, I agree with everything you wrote. I will not live my life crippled by fear; I have built a foundation based on love and faith and that's going to get me through anything that I have to face. Have a wonderful weekend!

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 5 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      This is a wonderful and profound hub! I had lived alone for about 9 years before I married. I had many fears to face. I had to kill the spiders that came into the house, and empty the mouse trap too. I had a scenario already worked out if someone broke into my house, I knew what I was going to do. I chased away the guy that broke into my car one night. I locked my doors and my car. Your fears sometimes keep you alert, but you do need to keep them in perspective. This is a very good hub and I really enjoyed it! You are a very strong person to face the fears you have! Voted up and awesome!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 5 years ago from Central Florida

      I must begin by saying, Jeanihess, your poem is beautiful! You bring a negative into a positive via your strong mindset! I just love it when comments are creative, don't you, Bill?

      Now for my comment on this hub: As I've said many times before, I live life thru rose-colored glasses. I'm a firm believer in what I don't know doesn't hurt me. It's why I don't watch the news. At age 55, my rose-colored glasses haven't let me down yet! Yeah, I've had ugly things happen to me, but I always see the beauty in life and don't dwell on the temporary ugliness that creeps in. I shun it. I repel it. And it's worked for me!

      However, I've developed phobias as I've aged. The Random House dictionary (we called it Uncle Random in broadcasting school) defines phobia as "an obsessive or irrational fear or anxiety". To exemplify, when I was a little girl in Philly, I'd walk a curb-width wall between the Iroquois Apartments (read my hub "How I Became Bravewarrior") without any fear. It must have been 20' long with a 15' drop to the alley below, but I did it every time I took the shortcut to home. Today, I have major trepidtion climbing stairs with no back. And forget about climbing stairs to an ancient lookout tower! I freeze half way up and have to go back down! Yet I love to fly! Which brings me to my next "phobia". Also as a little girl in Philly, I'd climb thru the water tunnels that ran undernearth and between streets. Today, I'm highly claustrophobic! Yet, I love to fly (as long as I have a window seat!)

      I had a fear of spiders and snakes until I became a single (divorced) mom. As the mom and "dad", I had to overcome that in order to keep our home safe for my son (who, at age 20 still can't deal with spiders!) And, I'll tell you what, in Florida we get spiders almost as big as my cats! Whew! Talk about overcoming fears! BTW, hair spray is the best combatant for spiders; it freezes them in place, then they die!

      In all reality, I think my biggest fear today is not achieving my dream of leaving the corporate world and being able to pay my bills (and have some left over for self-doting!) by writing. It's been my salvation, self-preservation and inner counselor all my life.

      As far as "outside" fears, I don't really have any. My bubble has kept me safe, sane and secure for 55 years. I must be doing something right!

    • picklesandrufus profile image

      picklesandrufus 5 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

      This hub is one that really makes the reader think. Good job. The one fear I don't think about often, but know is there, is the fear of suffering. After going through 4 months of chemo, I have experienced it. If I could have one wish in my life, it would be that no one has to suffer. I just try to face my fears and move through them in faith that all will be ok. Vote up!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sgbrown, thank you for your kind words and I agree, healthy fear can keep you alert...but perspective is the key. Hoping you have a fear-free weekend. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Pickles and I must say I certainly do not want to suffer...just not sure that I can say I fear it. I pray that the chemo did its job for you and nothing returns. One time is more than enough!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, keep that bubble inflated if it's done its job so well so far. As for those little phobias of yours, I'm pretty sure everyone has some. Now I did not know that about hairspray but Bev would never let me kill a spider so your idea won't do me much good. I have to gingerly pick up the spider and return it to the great outdoors. This is the same woman who says "oatmeal" for "I love you." Go figure!

      Have a wonderful weekend my dear friend; we'll be gone tomorrow for Mt. Rainier and a day of relaxation.

      bill

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 5 years ago from Central Florida

      Pickles, I will mention you in my conversation with God tonight. You have a beautiful smile! May the brilliance of your heart and God's grace make you well!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 5 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, you and Bev enjoy your weekend! Much deserved! As far as the spiders, when you have one in your tiny bathroom that's 4" in diameter, you (I) don't dare pick it up and put it outside! So as not to scream bloody murder, wake up the slumbering young'n and still be able to take a shower, this female overcomes her fear with whatever weapon she possesses! I'm proud to say, I have no alarm system and I own no guns. Guns scare me! I want no part of them. I believe owning a gun would only be a magnate for those who own and use them friviously. Again - rose-colored glasses. I will never take them off!!!

      Cream of Wheat!

      Sha

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 5 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Hi Bill, this is a very good hub. I was born in 1964, so I understand not locking the door at night, riding your bike for miles. Children cannot do that anymore. I do not fear that, but I makes me feel a little sad. We are aware of all the dangers out there now. It is reported on the news all the time. We do need to keep our children safe. I just wish we could the way it used to be.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha...:) Pickles is a good lady for sure!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      A 4" spider would never live to see the light of day if I was around and I'll bet Bev would change her tune too. Have a great weekend...ttfn!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michele, I agree completely. I doubt we'll ever see those days again.

      Thank you my friend!

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 5 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      Up, Useful, Interesting, and shared. To borrow from medical terminology, a fear can be acute or chronic. If I am walking in a field and notice that a bull is charging toward me, acute fear will likely give me the motivation, the focus, and the adrenaline to dash to the fence, leap over it, and climb a tree. If I am walking on a country road past a field and notice that in it a bull is charging toward a child, acute fear that the bull will harm or kill the child might give me the impetus to vault the fence and attract the bull's attention from the child to me. If I feared a bull attack anytime I walked in or near any field, that would be chronic fear. Acute fear, if not delusional or exaggerated, is useful; chronic fear is not. It is, though, not easy to avoid or to stop having chronic fears. In my experience, making myself do what I fear has over time dissolved the fear IF the fear was caused by unfamiliarity. When I first experienced riding in a car in mountains and foothills out West, every curve brought fear of going over the edge of the road into the chasm beside it. But little by little over time, as I now and then braved a rural car ride, my body got accustomed to the feel of it, and after living in Moscow, Idaho for a few years, I could ride or drive in rolling hills and low foothills with equanimity, and when riding in mountains I could take my mind off of The Plunge and could enjoy the scenery when experiencing all but the steepest descents and sharpest curves. But forcing myself to do what by personality I am shy of doing, to act like an extrovert, never brings me the least bit closer to turning into an extrovert, capable of work that involves selling or socializing. For every five minutes that I make myself act extroverted, I probably need an hour of alone time to calm my nerves.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      B. Leekley, I'm laughing because you and I are very similar in that respect. I was a total failure as a salesman because I couldn't become the extrovert it required...nice guy, polite, always smiled, just couldn't ask for a sale if my life depended on it.

      Excellent points you make and I thank you for taking the time to raise some very interesting aspects to fear that I had not covered.

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Great thought provoking hub! I am not a fearful person. I do have a phobia but it isn't a fear as much as it is a reaction I have survived many things and I know life goes on. I do not fear being alone because I like who I am and life has taught me that being alone is much better than being in the company of someone who does not deserve my time and efforts. There are many fish in the sea that come along in the form of friends and partners. I do not fear dying, but because I do have a young child, I fear dying young before she no longer needs me and missing out on things like grandkids. Otherwise I am not a slave to fear. This is such an excellent hub.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Billy... you have raised a great question. What is it we fear... do we continue to live in that fear or step out into the very uncomfortable and take it head on. Three fears come to mind for me "Confined Spaces, Drowning and Heights." After digging around in te closet of skeletons of childhood I realized they were deeply imbedded. The key is discovering the root cause and taking control. My control was like yours alcohol and drug addiction. I could be the person I always wanted to be.

      Crazy as it may seem one of the first professions I chose was to work underground. I was assigned to the 8500 foot level. The next was water and I took up Scuba Diving and the third heights and you guessed it I jumped out of an aircraft and took up skydiving. Extreme yes but I became cured. 35 years of sobriety and freedom are amazing.

      Fear is instilled into far to many people. It is to an almost epidemic proportion. It is so sad Billy we have created a society that has forgotten to love. It is a calling we have and fail to love and you miss out on life altogether.

      Hugs, Love and respect from Canada

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tammy, great response to the hub. In many ways my responses would be the same. I have had phobias before and simply forced myself to get over them and there is no other way than to go head first and do it.

      Always love having you drop by my friend. Have a wonderful weekend! Your book will be in the mail tomorrow with an extra little gift.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rolly, you are a good man and I respect you for that above all else. After the lives we have led we really only have two choices: die or change who we are. After almost dying from booze there isn't much that can make me afraid any longer. Like you I prefer to just go head on with any fear I might have and get it over with.

      Thank you my friend and peace and love to you as well.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 5 years ago from southern USA

      Wow, billybuc, this is truly profound thinking on the subject of fear. And thank you for sharing your heart. I am just now getting around to reading, as I have my granddaughters this weekend, before I will be down for four to six weeks after surgery so they can rule out ovarian cancer - but I have no fear about all of this, as "Perfect love casts out fear . . " 1 John 4:18 Been in the same situation last year when He healed me of breast cancer, and I just had such great peace, His peace, the peace that surpasses all understanding. Now, on the other hand, if this all happened to me about 15 years ago, I would be one big fearful mess. As a young person, I was so afraid to even walk into a room filled with people, for fear they would all turn around and look at me. Ha. Silly, Then one day the Lord just spoke to me in a moment of silence and told me that I was not living as He created me to be, and I had to let go of that unforgiveness in my heart, which I did not even realize I had. And when I did that, I was truly free from then on, and a new beautiful creature, as the old had passed away. Praise Him! I do remember those wonderful days of growing up and riding or lying in the back window area of the big old car we had (no seat belts, no air-bags), riding our bicycles with no helmets and skating, etc. A lot of the fear I used to have was what "man" or other people could do to me, as far as a job, and now I just can't believe I even went down that road, as "What can man do to me?" Hebrews 13:6. I also used to be so concerned about what people were thinking that it would just keep me up at nights, what a waste that was! Ha. Now when I lay my head down at night and pray and cast all of my fears to Him, oh, such sweet sleep comes. A mind set free is truly an awesome thing. One fear that does try to creep in my mind nowadays is for the safety and wellbeing of my grandchildren, but then I remember to claim all of His promises in Psalm 91 for protection over my children and grandchildren, family, etc. If I had not gone through the many trials of this life, I would not be the person I am today, especially without Him. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Beautiful comments, Faith, and I thank you for sharing them. There is amazing peace that comes when fear is absent. It's been a long road for me but in the last six years I have finally found peace and it is a blessing to be sure.

      Have a wonderful time with y our granddaughters this weekend and I'll keep you in my prayers concerning the surgery.

      Peace and happiness always,

      bill

    • Felixedet2000 profile image

      Felixedet2000 5 years ago from The Universe

      Billy, this is simply awesome, the style is wonderful. thanks for this insights;good to know there are still people who understand life the way it ought to be.

    • shimmering Dawn profile image

      shimmering Dawn 5 years ago

      Simply put fear robs you of the joy of living.... I would rather face fear than run like a coward all my life.. But then.. learned this the hard way...I fear nothing :)

      Lovely Hub. Have a blessed day!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Felix, thank you! I'm glad you appreciate the simpler things in life and how life should be. Take care and have a wonderful weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Shimmering, your last phrase says it all...I fear nothing! I love it, love your outlook, love your passion for life. Peace to you my friend and all the days of your life.

    • trish1048 profile image

      trish1048 5 years ago

      Fear, along with worry, keeps us from living to our potential. While worry, to my mind, is a useless feeling, fear can be a friend. Worry keeps us in a state of anxiousness, makes our heads spin with the what ifs, and solves nothing. Fear, on the other hand, is at times, a teacher. As a child we learn, after getting burned, to not touch a hot stove or play with matches. Most of us, in time, learn to trust. We learn that there is no bogeyman in our closet.

      But sadly, as we grow into adulthood, many of us experience bad things and scary situations, which leads us to a place of fear, once again.

      There are some fears we can face and conquer, however, some, we cannot.

      Often, in my experience, it's when I let my imagination run wild that increases the fear, only to find, in the end, that there was nothing to fear after all. It is, all too often, the fear of the unknown. A good example is when I learned I needed cataract surgery. By the time the day arrived, I was a basket case. The thought of someone putting sharp things in my eye freaked me out. I could see in my mind, my own eye widen in terror as the doctor approached my eye. Well, long story short, the procedure from start to finish took less than an hour, and surprise, surprise, I felt literally nothing. It was amazing.

      It's been said there is nothing to fear but fear itself. Sometimes, that's true.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Trish, I think we all have phobias which by themselves can be crippling, but there is nothing like the paralysis of true fear and that needs to be overcome. Otherwise we are living our lives with chains. Thank you my friend and have a peaceful and love-filled weekend.

    • neeleshkulkarni profile image

      neeleshkulkarni 5 years ago from new delhi

      sometimes faith is the best defense against fear.If we know we are being taken care of we do not fear for ourselves, whether it is faith in a parent, faith in The Lord or faith in ones ability to handle whatever comes ones way.The more you are aligned to the "real" you inside the less you will fear.You seem to be getting there friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Neeles, that is beautifully stated my friend! In fact, I wish I had thought of it so I could have put it in this article. :) Thank you!

    • Fennelseed profile image

      Annie Fenn 5 years ago from Australia

      This is a very interesting question and I feel compelled to add a little to the conversation.

      I think there is a huge amount of pressure put on young people today and as a result a psychological fear or anxiety often develops. A fear of not being cool, of not reaching expectations, of not being part of the 'in" crowd, of not wearing, being, doing, having, saying what society (often via the media) dictates. Being bullied doesn't help and it seems the bullies are reacting out of fear also. I suffered from this form of anxiety for many years, and I wasn't even subjected to the extent of pressure our kids are today. It is only in recent times that I have finally felt free of this fear of not conforming or being seen to conform (and that itself triggers the fear of being discovered as a fraud, that you speak of).

      I think big corporations and governments cash in or buy in by exploiting and even creating fear. No one wants to be seen to be doing something different to others so the sheep syndrome comes about. Scare mongering, whether for power of profit (or both) is rife and very wrong.

      Then there is physical fear - for me usually associated with fear of death or of deep pain. Dying is invertible. After losing a loved one, I no longer fear death either - I know death will bring a reunion, so when it comes to take me, I will go willingly.

      This is a great topic for debate. I enjoyed reading your article and the comments. Many thanks to you Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Annie, great addition to the conversation and I agree with your points.

      I applied for a writing gig about six months ago, advertised as needing someone to do blogs on their website. The guy explained to me that my job was to raise the fear level, to make people so concerned for their safety that they would want the security systems that this company sold.

      Exploiting and/or creating fear!

      Thanks for the great comment my friend and have a great day down under!

      bill

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 5 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      A very detailed and descriptive analysis of fear, the symptoms, the causes and the consequences!

      There is fear in all of us... No dogma can deny it! As a child I feared the dark.. now I love it.. Fear takes different forms and shapes through are lives

      Sometimes fear is beneficial... in the form of alertness, in the form of love and care... sometimes it takes form of panic and disillusion which is dangerous

      The key aspect is too realize our fears and move above them which you have perfectly described... Life is to live to the fullest after all

      Great work Sir :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rahul, thank you kindly! It is something we all need to conquer so that we do not become its slave.

    • CloudExplorer profile image

      Mike Pugh 5 years ago from New York City

      You of all people have had fears, wow Billy this hub is thorough indeed. My childhood fears have all been conquered long ago, and many of the realities you've mentioned here I have experienced as well, including surviving homelessness and I wrote a hub about it a while back when I first joined hubpages.

      Your fear hub here is sensational as many of your hubs always are, its not too personal, even though you sprinkled it with a tad bit of family history with your dads info, but all in all this hub does the job at taking fear apart at its seams.

      I use to fear heights the most as a child, and I could only conquer that one, as you said, by facing it head on, but my fear of heights stems from being afraid of dying as well, and many fears are connected such as this. So you're right when it comes to the core issue of fearing the unknown. Nice job!

      Voted up and getting shared everywhere I can, you are a gentleman and scholarly writer.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael, I'm not even sure what led me to writing about this subject but judging from the response I'm glad I did. Oh, if I only knew way back then what I know now. :) Thank you my friend and have a wonderful day!

    • Purple Perl profile image

      Purple Perl 5 years ago from Bangalore,India

      My brother had a poster up on his wall,"Courage is fear that has said its prayers".

      "Do the thing you fear, and the death of fear is certain".This is my favorite.

      Being fearful makes one an introvert, & does not reach the full potential in life.

      Facing fears is not commonly addressed,and your hub awakens everyone that reads it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Purple, I love those quotes and thank you for stopping by and commenting.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

      WOW...Bill...I bow down to you!!

      This is a fantastic hub. I have many fears although I am aware of them and will continue to fight them. I am so happy to read that you and Bev are fear free of death and their consequences.

      I do hope and pray that me and my family can ride that same boat, soon.

      Loved every bit of it. many votes and sharing it across!

    • Vidya Mallar profile image

      Vidya Mallar 5 years ago from India

      Dear Billy, this is the one topic which gave me a clear vision of the fear factor in my life... I feel you wrote it for me, as am a person who has lots of fears in my life... This hub was really useful to me and I have started thinking why I have developed such unwanted fears in myself... Thank you so much for sharing this hub... It was great in every aspect ... I truly want to transform myself into a fearless person, but i won't ever have the courage to sleep in my house with out locking the doors... Any way it was truly great of you to share this hub... Voted up... God bless you....

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruchira, it's a long process or at least it was for me. I have no doubt that you will make it on that boat soon. Thank you as always; you are truly a good person.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vidya, I am so happy that my words had that effect on you. Bless you and may you find a life without fear in the near future.

    • Vidya Mallar profile image

      Vidya Mallar 5 years ago from India

      Thank you so much for inspiring me to be courageous in life... Its great to meet people like you who are so positive in life... God bless you too... Have a good day... Here it is good night...

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vidya, you are so very welcome. Sleep well tonight and bless you on your journey. If you are on Facebook I would love to follow your journey...you can send a friend request to Bill Holland.

    • Claudia Tello profile image

      Claudia Tello 5 years ago from Mexico

      What do I fear? Well, I am not afraid of death (not at all), I am not afraid of crime and violence, even when I live in one of the most so called insecure cities in the world, but I must say I am starting to get a little bit anxious about the future. Mexico is a country where corruption is present in every governmental institution and where economy is getting worse and worse every single day. Therefore, the economic uncertainty, the lack of social security and governmental support, the lack of job opportunities and the unemployment rates, together with the deeply corrupted government is getting to me; I am starting to feel afraid and to wonder what is going to happen in the future. I can´t see it very bright these days, I haven´t had a reasonable income for 3 years now, I do not make a dime in Hubpages, and I must confess that I am quite nervous at this point. Fortunately for me, I have a great family that helps and supports me, without them in Mexico I don´t know what would become of many people like me who can´t count on the government to help them out, not in any single way. This is sadly a strong fear-generating situation for many Mexicans today.

    • Vidya Mallar profile image

      Vidya Mallar 5 years ago from India

      Definitely, Billy, I will send you the request. Thank you for the invite..

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Claudia, we in the United States are known for whining about our government but we forget how much worse it could be...thank you for your comment. I can't even imagine how bad that must be. I wish you peace and happiness and I send along my prayers for you and your family.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are welcome Vidya!

    • Claudia Tello profile image

      Claudia Tello 5 years ago from Mexico

      Thanks for your good wishes :D

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure Claudia!

    • dmop profile image

      dmop 5 years ago from Cambridge City, IN

      Fear is such a wide spread problem it may even out reach the reasons to be afraid. I don't really fear anything in relation to my own personal well being, but I constantly fear for my children. Are they safe, are they eating right, are they being bullied, are they learning the lessons they will need to have fulfilling lives. I never really knew fear until I had children. I don't feel it debilitates me in any way, but it sure does keep my mind alert and aware of all the possible dangers. Great hub, voted up and useful.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dmop, great point. I can relate to that very well when I was raising my son I felt the same way. Thank you for the great comment.

    • Lawrence Da-vid profile image

      Lawrence Da-vid 5 years ago

      Fear is in every walk of life. Unfortunately it hits us at every avenue. Ministers instill "fear" in effort to keep patrons coming back and giving money. Government uses fear to keep us in line, and supporting it. Television uses fear to keep us watching. Think about it....even you use fear to keep children in line, and to keep others from trespassing in your circle of life. Everywhere we turn, we are confronted with a form of fear. The written word "NO" is everywhere. Have you ever seen a street sign that indicates "YES?" A park that gives permission with the word "YES?" That "NO" word instills fear because of possible ramifications that will follow if you "YES" at the wrong time.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lawrence, I agree completely. Religions and governments would not exist if it were not for the fear they instill. The entire Old Testament is about fear and don't even get me started on modern media. Thank you for your intelligent comment.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I've been thinking a lot lately, Bill. So, so much. I feel more fear now in my 40's than I ever have before. Why? I am often down on myself...and others, too, at times. What do I fear? The unknown? Something bad happening to somebody I love. I would love to have peace from fear and love the person I'm becoming, as you mentioned about your own journey. Thanks for writing this hub. You really made me think. I will continue on in my journey, hoping that the fearful thoughts settle down! Many votes on this hub. Well done.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vicki, you are in a state of transition right now and there are a lot of unknowns. That means more fear than normal. We always fear the unknown or are at least apprehensive about it. It's no different for me or you or a million other people. When your life has some more stability I'm willing to bet the fear will lessen.....and thank you for being such a good friend in this community.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Thanks,Bill. I appreciate what you say. I'll keep on keeping on until the fear lessens! Thanks, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are welcome Vicki!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Bill, you have tackled the issue of fear on all fronts. As time moves on, I've found that my fears are reducing one by one and it is a personal effort that one has to make to let go of a fear. Insecurity is a very big fear factor and meeting this head on is the only way to get over this fear.

      Liked the way you tackled this subject.

      Up all the way.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rajan and I agree completely with everything you said.

    • raciniwa profile image

      raciniwa 5 years ago from Naga City, Cebu

      i just want to share this quote from the Bible...and a great line to live by...

      1 John 4:18

      American Standard Version (ASV)

      18 There is no fear in love: but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath punishment; and he that feareth is not made perfect in love.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Raci, I agree completely with your quote. Beautiful message! Thank you!

    • profile image

      iamaudraleigh 4 years ago

      Every day, I fear faing the wold because I feel I will be rejected. Low self esteem will bring the worst out in you...result...rejection. Your article helped me come to that realization...a good thing to have the words behind my fears. I am so glad you have been such a supporter of me. Now, I want to support you. Your words are so meaningful in this well written hub. Thank you for writing another great piece :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Audra, we all face fear at one time in our lives...and usually many times. You have taken a huge leap of faith and you should be afraid....but....you can also walk through that fear and not only survive but thrive. Thank you for being such a wonderful human being...my highest compliment!

    • Jamie Brock profile image

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      Bill, I have enjoyed this hub and truly commend you for making that decision to not let fear rule your life any longer... it sounds like you are living happy, joyous and free. There was a time in my life that I made the decision to act in spite of fear (and got easier with time) and as a result I began to know a freedom that I never knew existed. It's funny you mentioned death.. I was never afraid of dying, I was always more afraid of living. I've always said my favorite quote is the one by Nike- "Just Do It" Thank you again for a wonderful hub. I had written a hub on fear myself but I noticed that some of my hubs (not pertaining to crafts) are not even on my profile. Will have to see what's going on.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jamie, I am, indeed, happy, joyous, and free. It took a long time to get to this place, but I'm not leaving it now. :) I love your line "afraid of living." For me I just wanted one more shot at living....if I was going to die, so be it, but damn it, I'd love one more shot to get it right.

      Thank you my friend; I hope you are well, and I hope your problems on HP work out.

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