I was recently attempting to bolster the confidence of a coworker who will be giving a short presentation at a trade show. She, like many folks, is afraid of public speaking. I am not (although I DO get a little nervous reading in church). A few more people got involved in the conversation, and I was asked point blank “What are YOU afraid of?”. I was taken aback, but did manage to spit out a couple things- thunderstorms and large black dogs – that do frighten me.
But wow, is that a deep question. It’s the kind of question your therapist springs on you right before he hands you the box of tissues. It’s the kind of question that leaves you antsy and out of sorts on a lonely summer night. It’s the kind of question that can make you think you’re losing your mind.
I freely admit I have irrational fears of thunderstorms, elevators, and large black dogs. Al of these fears stem of incidents in my youth, which is a pretty common way to pick up that kind of fear. But what else? I don’t want to say I’m fearless, but I will say that while there are plenty of things I worry about, I wouldn’t go as far as to say I fear most of them. I worry about developing Alzheimer’s/ dementia because of the sheer number of cases in my family (mom AND dad’s side). I worry about what kind of future my niece and nephew are going to have and what kind of planet they will have to live on. I worry about the current political climate here in the US and in many other parts of the world too. I worry about my mental health- now THERE’S a fun death spiral for a Sunday afternoon!
But what do I fear? I’m really not sure how to answer that question. I don’t know if anyone truly can.