Can Fear Be Our Friend? By Susanna Spies

“Ewwww, aaaaccckkkk, please someone come in here, and get iiiiiiittttttt!”

No matter how loud I’d scream or cry, the sole of my shoe always was the fastest form of relief. SQUISH. Inhale, exhale, ahhhhh.

As a kid I was terrified of spiders. I’d cry out loud hoping anyone would come and save me from the King Kong of Spiders, the Grandfather of Daddy Long Legs, and second cousin to the Tasmanian Devil. Spiders to me (also known as “spon-sters” )always revealed their true identity, after remaining frozen still, to darting across the wall into to the crack of darkness. And staring at the wall until my eyes grew too heavy, was my only gateway into sleep-land in our summer cabin on the Maine coast.

I’d sit and stare at the 1/4 knots embedded into planks of pine for hours on end, and if the knots moved? Infinite knots in my belly would grow from shear terror. You see, pine knots were a spiders “foundation”, or “sarong”, to cover up, bait and hook. Like an octopus of the outdoors with endlessly long legs, they could run faster than the local track team chasing the last ice cream truck on a hot summer day.

To get an idea of the size of these “spon-sters” hold out your hand with all fingers full extended. Now, turn the palm of your hand toward you. Look very closely at the center point of your hand. Even closer. See if you can find the very core center point of your palm. Keep going. Closer. Now, see if the palm of your hand can touch the very tip of your nose. Ok, there. That, was the size of these “spon-sters”. Their leg span could take over your face. But then again, I was only 8. Maybe that leg span on an adult face, would be more the size of an earring, but a large dangling one at that!

Days before our road trips to Maine, I would be filled with excitement, and fear all in one. Excitement for the beach, the walks, hikes, swims, and hunt for sand dollars. But as we rolled down the driveway approaching our renovated barn, excitement was accompanied by fear. Fear of the rodents I may find, fear of the spiders aka
“spon-sters”, and fear when I’d jump into the ocean, what may jump back while inside the sea surface.

Fear was becoming the ruler to my vacation summer o’ fun. And it was winning in the fear ring. But when fear takes the lead, it jeopardizes the confidence to overcome. You become subservient to whatever fear itself may dictate, which can leave you feeling virtually powerless, confident less, and disempowered. But how do you get ahead of fear? What are the ways to become unintimidated to embrace, resolve, and even befriend fear?

Humor is one of the greatest tools to overcome fear. Finding ways to draw on a personal experience, encourages movement towards overcoming, then remaining stuck and trapped behind fear. Take a look at some helpful steps below to finding the fear funny, and knowing that fear itself can become an ingredient toward empowerment, fulfillment, and spiritual success!

5 Steps to Befriend Fear

From a “Hairy Spider” to “Harry Harmless”…

  1. Write down one of your biggest fears.
  2. Give it a name, and give it a voice. Make it human.
  3. Create a slogan it may say. Now sing it.
  4. Write a Bio for it.
  5. Create a personal ad, or a job resume for it. Give it a history: where it came from? Where it lives? When it comes out? Where it manifests?

The more we bridge our imaginations into transforming fear, the more “human” fear can become. The more human anything becomes, the more we can connect to it.

So remember, the next time you get butterflies from fear before a speech at school, a date with a crush, or a driving test to get your license, remember: “Beatrice Butterfly” is ENERGY to help get you there, and butterflies are not a result of fear, but a propeller, advocate, and friend towards overcoming and achieving any obstacles along the way.

© 2014 Daniel Scherl

About the Author: Susanna SPIES is one of Your Monthly Mentors, a seasoned educator and Founder and President of Comedy Playground, LLC, showcasing at The Hollywood Improv located in California. With a performance background, Spies has worked within mediums of television and film, and has performed stand up comedy on stages throughout the nation. Known for her many “faces”, in 2013 she debuted over 30 characters in her one-woman show “The Dryer” and was featured on Nuvo TV’s Stand & Deliver, E-One Entertainment’s Uncontrolled Comedy, and the Youtube sensation “Carol” of “Carol & Claire in The Angela Hoover web series, as well as dozens of national commercials, and Independent Feature Films. Read More… 

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