• H. M. L. Swann

#1 FEAR: An Introduction

Updated: Oct 12, 2020

It's October. A chill has settled in the air making it smell clean. Crisp leaves are collecting on the sidewalks transforming the walkway into a kaleidoscope: dying greens, mustard yellows, burnt oranges, deep reds. There’s magic in the air. An energy pooling in the remaining hours of daylight as the days get steadily shorter and cooler.

For me, October has always felt like a build-up to Halloween or Samhain. The costumes being put into production. The sweet treats being made. Candles burning in pumpkins with faces carved on them. It’s my favorite season.

It’s also a season of fear, fright, and all the creepy things that come out at night.

We all have fears. I’m afraid of spiders. My mom’s afraid of snakes. My nephew is afraid of monsters under his bed. These are the fears of unexplained or dangerous creatures. These can make evolutionary sense. Spiders and snakes could be poisonous. Not all the monsters under the bed are as nice as Sully from Monsters Inc. These apprehensions, these fears, can be instinctual. They’re trying to keep us alive.

Now, these aren’t the fears I want to be exploring this month. I want to explore the fears that reside in the mind and the heart. Fear of vulnerability. Fear of failure. Fear of poverty.

I want to explore these topics because I feel that too often, they’re brushed aside as a feeling we shouldn’t have. Growing up, I was conditioned not to talk about it. Admitting fear felt like admitting weakness. Fear was something to not have, or to overcome quickly.

But life is messy. And fear is real. And sometimes it’s hard to shake. Sometimes it doesn’t just “go away.” In my opinion, it takes time, self-reflection, and a willingness to admit when you’re afraid, and what you’re afraid of.

So, with that in mind, each Sunday this month I will be posting about a different fear. As always, I’m listening on twitter @hmlswann or in the comments below.

Cheers and see you next week,


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