The Irrationality and Necessity of Fear

Slender-man-memeOur fears dance upon our psyches, pulling the strings of our imaginations, with the most unpredictable results. Fear, warranted or not, plays a major role in all of our lives. Our fears often drive our decisions, motivations, and accomplishments. While many look at fear as a weakness or some crippling disability, I see it as an absolute necessity to our own mental and physical well-being.

Loss, in our personal lives, drives these fears even if the embodiment of the fear is rooted in irrationality. We fear loss, and by extension, whatever acts as a vehicle that leads to this loss. For example, many movie monsters offer cheap thrills, but most of us are not truly afraid of them, either as an idea or an actuality. Zombies? Nope, smash them with a baseball bat. Mummies? Ditto. Vampires? Bring on the eternal night, I welcome immortality. Mothman? Getting closer, only because I see him as a slight possibility. Slender Man? Now we’re talking.

While in my rational brain I know that Slender Man is a unbased, irrational fear, he still sends the ebie jeebies through my body. Think about that. A tall, dark, distinctly improportionate man who originated in internet memes is the object of terror in those lonely dark nights where I find my self awake and alone.  I know, laugh all you want, but here is where I make my point. In these internet memes, Slenderman is often portrayed as a stalker of children.  At this point in my life, my children are the most important thing, thus Slenderman is the irrational embodiemnt of my completely rational fear. So a being of abject mystery who stalks children is personal, not because of who he is, but rather what he represents.

While I’m not truly afraid of Slenderman, I am afraid of losing my children. Through this, my fear creates a heightened sense of awareness, making me hyper-vigilant when it comes to protecting my chidlren.

You can see fear manifest in this way in the majority of our lives. These fears, while seemingly irrational, are the fuel that keeps us on our toes. Humans are naturally fearful of the dark, because we know that we are no longer in our element and are vulnerable to attack.

Conversely, there are times when people let this fear terrify them into inaction. It is here that fear stops being an enabler and becomes a hindrance.  So while I say fear is a vital and healthy part our lives, mastery of the fear is a sure necessity.

What irrational fears exist in your life? Can you idenify the actual driving force behind them. It is only with this realization, that you will learn to master your fear.

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