“You can’t leave your fears behind,’ he’d said, “until first you live inside them. You have to live inside your house of fear.”― Steve Rasnic Tem, Deadfall HotelWhen typing the above quote (all right, cutting and pasting), the phrase ‘house of fear’ jumped out at me like a bolt of lighting. Living inside your House of Fear seems a dangerous proposition. Who, after all, wants to live with their fears on a daily basis? And what, exactly, is my House of Fear? What would lay within it’s walls? Would it be dark and spooky, like a haunted house, or stark and lifeless with six equal sides, a square of fear? Perhaps well lived-in. Perhaps not. I have, after all, had many years for fears to accumulate, drifting into the cracks and crevices of my life, lost beneath the furniture of my mind- a dusty chair, an unmade bed, a table upon which the book of my life rests.So what do I fear? What ghosts linger there?I fear rejection, both personally and as a writer. What if I am not strong enough, bold enough, to record the lives of the ghosts whispering in my ear. Spiders – though I am much better now. Opening up to let others inside. Never trusting again because one person decided it was okay to lie and treat me like I was nothing. Ending up like my mother, locked in a body that, inch by inch, took her life long before she died. My kids never learning how to be responsible adults. Hate and violence engulfing the world.What, then, am I not afraid of?I am not afraid of dying though, as the saying goes, I don’t want to go today. I am not afraid of having less than nothing in my back account. I’ve been there and you just have to let it go. I am not afraid of being alone. I know how strong I am, how much I crave being responsible for my own life. I do not fear petty, mean-spirited, people because I know their attitude is their problem and has nothing to do with me.Of course, I could list all the fears I’ve ever had in my life and all the fears I have overcome but we would be here forever. Life is learning to face your fears and becoming stronger for each battle.Do fears leave the house once they no longer linger in my subconscious? Yes and no. They turn invisible and, while mostly they slip away, a tiny misty form remains, ready to spring back to life at any unguarded moment.What is your House of Fear?
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