The Joy of Fear

halloween fearSo Halloween is on Monday and it made me think about humans and why we enjoy scaring ourselves so much. Because that’s basically what Halloween is about. It might have started off as scaring away the undead, but now it’s just about scaring the living. Well, and candy. Lots of candy. Like so much candy that we could probably build a wall. But then people would just eat the wall, and we’d probably all get sick. And the exercise would have been pointless…but why am I talking about walls?

Back to fear. We like to be scared. Why? Probably because we get a high off of it. That’s why people jump out of perfectly working airplanes. To get a high. Because apparently life isn’t exciting enough for them. Or they couldn’t find any cocaine that day (joking. Drugs are bad, children). In short, it’s fun. It’s fun to dress up in silly costumes and try to scare each other in a safe environment. That’s a safe kind of fear. Like watching a horror movie. You get to live vicariously through the characters, but there’s no one standing behind you with a giant ax. If there is, then you should probably run. And for the love of god, don’t run upstairs, and don’t trip in the forest. And maybe do something other than scream and weep if he (or she) is coming at you. Just a thought.

So what’s the point? Because while fear can be fun, we often run away from it. We’re often terrified of everything like Dave from Survivor. We often run around trying to protect ourselves from the remote possibility that a deranged grizzly bear jumps out at us from behind that tree.

The thing about fear is that you can’t eradicate it. When you try to eradicate it, it grows stronger, and it starts attacking you more aggressively. Sure, you can dampen fear, you can push it away and try to ignore it, but it will always resurface somewhere in your life and you need to learn to live with that. We all do. So many times we try to play fear off as just a nuisance or something silly, or something we can get over like the common cold. But we can’t. And we shouldn’t. Even when we’re tempted to make everything seem perfect and alright, we can’t. Because it’s not possible.

All I’m saying, is that Halloween is a reminder that while we often think of fear as something fun at times, we needn’t let it get the best of us when it’s not so fun. It might be hard to live with fear, but the thing about that is the more you live with it the more you get used to it. I’m not saying to live in fear, I’m saying to realize that fear can’t be tidied away, and that you have to do things despite your fear if you want it to go away.

So, have you dealt with the big bad fear grizzly before?


Check out Playing in the Dark if you want some creepy poetry to read this Halloween. All about blood, sacrifice, and killing people. With maybe a little bit of love mixed up in there. Just for fun.