Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Irrational fears.

Here we are at my fiftieth entry. To mark this I thought this would be a fun time to discuss something that will allow me to reveal something personal. That topic is irrational fears. While I can't say that I have any irrational fears now, I did in my youth. There are two such irrational fears that I still remember to this day. When I was still in elementary school one of them involved vampires. It's sort of hard to explain, because I'm pretty sure I didn't fully believe in the existence of vampires. But even considering that, there was still some unexplainable fear that I had. The funny part was how I dealt with the fear. When I would go to sleep at night I would always have to have my covers pulled up and around my neck, as if to protect it. It's funny to look back at now. I kind of have to laugh at the logic that a thin layer of cloth would somehow protect me from the razor sharp fangs of the undead. But this is the point where I must shatter the dreams of tweens the world over fantasizing about being swept into a sparkling eternity. Obviously, this vampire fear was irrational because vampires simply do not exist.

The other one I remember also involved sleep. Again, while I was still rather young. In those days all my familiarity with death or dead bodies was from funeral scenes on TV or in movies. We've all seen those scenes... The body lies in the casket with the arms folder just so. For some reason, I was fixated on the posing of the arms/hands. You see, I was already somewhat familiar with rigor mortis at that early age. However, I thought that rigor mortis caused he body to freeze solid as a rock. With that in mind, I had concluded that those individuals posed in the caskets had died in that very position. Once I made that connection I thought that was a magic position of death. Every night I would have to bundle up tight, lay on a hand, anything to make sure I didn't accidentally fall asleep in my assumed magic arm fold of death. The obvious truth is that there is no magic hand fold that causes automatic death, making that fear irrational as well.

One irrational fear that I surprisingly didn't fall into was that of Hell. Back when I was still a believer, I don't remember ever seriously fearing Hell. Maybe I rationalized it by thinking that if he was as loving and forgiving as I heard he was, that I would be okay. That the life I lead would earn me forgiveness for anything 'wrong' I may have done (whether I was aware of it or not). I still don't worry about Hell, but for different reasons. My reason now is the fact that Hell simply does not exist. Yet this irrational fear of Hell is widespread. Far too many still believe that Hell is a real place and allow this belief to rule their life. This fear and will to avoid Hell causes them to remain faithful both because they believe, but because they are fearful of Hell. But it is still just an irrational fear because Hell is no more real than vampires or the magic arm fold of death. In situations of irrational fears, the old saying really is true. There's nothing to fear, but the fear itself.

-BH

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