What Am I Afraid Of?

Mari McCarthy is on a blog tour, of which Words from the Hearts just so happens to be part.  
Mari is talking about the fears that are universal to all of us at one time or another and how to help ourselves heal through journaling.  
Journaling is, as many of you know from the many posts here on the subject, a marvelous means of finding balance in your life on many different levels.  Mari's new book, Your Money Matters! Use Journal Writing Therapy to Get Financially Fit Now, is a great example of how journal writing can permeate all aspects of life.
Great news, Mari is offering an e-book to some lucky reader.  Simply leave a comment, I will pull a name out of the hat on Thursday 9/8/11.  The winner will be notified via email.

Thank you, Mari for sharing your thoughts and wisdom with us.

Some say that fear is the opposite of love. Certainly, feeling fear is usually unpleasant, unless you're getting a kick out of a horror movie or a roller coaster ride (would you call that a pleasant unpleasantness, or just masochism?).

Pause for a few seconds and think about a recent encounter you had with fear. Relive the experience in your mind's eye. You might have been suddenly terrified, or it might have been a more slowly creeping horror.

Because the fear occurred in the past, remembering it allows you to objectify it somewhat. You see yourself being afraid, as if from afar; you recall how you acted and exactly what happened. You re-trace your thought process with the perspective of time, from the safety of your present surroundings. Often, airing out the memory like this will reduce the fear's hold on you.

Sometimes fears are vague and unnamed. You feel anxiety, butterflies, maybe even a touch of panic, but you're hard pressed to explain why. The world's beyond crazy nowadays, so it's no wonder that a lot of people suffer from this foggy sort of ongoing fear.

In this case, you can't so easily remember a specific experience of fear, since it's with you much of the time.

Then, there's the kind of fear that is too horrendous to be remembered without great pain. Letting your thoughts dwell on such unhappy memories is a great way to make yourself sick.

Whatever your typical experience with fear, the best way to deal with it is in your journal. When your pen noodles all across and around and through your perceptions and permutations of fear, it's like getting a psychic massage.

• Does your fear involve something you can name and describe? Writing it all out is like unraveling a knot, dissecting it, recognizing its parts and using your intimacy with it to subdue its power.

• If your fear is more of the unnameable kind, your journal is where you shine a light on the mystery, exploring all the leads and tangents, prodding, probing, working your way around the amorphous blob.

• On the other hand, if your experience with fear is not something you want to spend time on, but you still want to become psychically free of it, you can approach from a different direction. In this case, use your journal as a muscle-builder, filling your consciousness with health and optimism as a strong defense against fear. Include everything encouraging and beautiful; let your journal be a celebration of light and lightness.

If your fear amounts to a phobia, you may need professional help. Our minds can become tyrannical, and they sometimes have to be tamed. But whatever else you do to get a grip on your fears, journaling is a given and may be enough in itself to bring back your confidence.

By Mari L. McCarthy - The Journaling Therapy Specialist, founder of Journaling for the Health of It™. Please visit Mari's blog at http://www.createwritenow.com/journal-writing-blog/. In Who Are You? How to Use Journaling Therapy to Know and Grow Your Life, Mari presents a gentle process for self discovery through journaling. Mari's latest publication is titled, Your Money Matters! Use Journal Writing Therapy to Get Financially Fit Now. Click links for further details.


Mari said…
Thanks for hosting me Linda. What a beautiful site you have here.
Thank YOU, Mari! Your insights into dealing with fear are so helpful.
Kathy Riccillo said…
I like how you utilize a journal to examine fear. Writing jumbled thoughts gives me a visual tool to sort through and organize my feelings. Discovering what causes fear is a perfect fit, which you have shown with your words.
My own fears are pretty clear with bouts of anxiety on my present situation. However, I know it gave me an opportunity to follow my dreams. As I get closer to my goals, it becomes the flitting of a butterfly.
Thanks for being Linda's guest!
Hi, Kathy!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Your description, "the flitting of a butterfly," resonates with me.
Glad you visited and that you found something helpful.
Peace, Linda
maryann said…
I remember keeping a journal when I I was in my twenties and writing about all my concerns and future goals of my life. As life got busy with a family I have not written in one in many years. But, I feel as if I have substituted for one that runs in my head.....not very functional.
Thank you Mari, for this reminder how writing about our fears and how journaling can bring back confidence.
Mari said…
@Maryann, anything I can do to help you jumpstart your journaling practice, please let me know. @Kathy thank you for sharing. WriteON!

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