Fear and Laughing

Well, what a day and a post make. Last Wednesday I wrote a blog about fear and writing.

The next thing I knew I had over 5000 hits.

Turns out WordPress featured it on Freshly Pressed.

Of course, the perfect photo from flickr helped. (Thank you, p!o—I’ve added another one from the same photo stream)

Ff-five-thhhhousand hits.

That’s one five followed by three zeros. (Yes, I am doing lots of math homework with my son.)

And over 130 comments.

That’s one hundred and thirty people who took the time to write nice, encouraging comments. I clicked onto as many of them as I could and found so many writers/bloggers/artists out there in cyberspace thinking and writing and painting interesting and wonderful things. All ages, all nationalities. All positive.

Blew my mind.

And yet they all related in some way to fear.

It reminded me of what Tara Brach discusses in one of her online seminars: THE fear.

Not mine. Not yours. But THE fear. The one that stalks us all.

Because I think that’s what’s so difficult about fear. We take it so personally. We think everyone else is just humming along, eating their Wheeties in the morning and then doing their thing without a sliver of fear ruining their day.

While we wake up, glued to the bed, terrified of failure before we’ve even moved a muscle.

Well, it’s helpful to know we are not alone.

So what should we do with THE fear?

Besides caging it, starving it, pummeling it to within an inch of its despicable life?

We could try (and I know this is hard) ignoring it. Not give it the time of day. Let fear breathe its rancid breath down the back of our necks. Let it sit its fat gluteus maximus on our laps. Let it worm its way into our stomachs.

And just look the other way. Yawn with boredom. Eat a brownie or two (or three) if we have to.

But just get on with whatever we’re doing.

Trying to be terribly literary about the whole thing I thought I’d gather a few quotes on fear:

The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek. Joseph Campbell

There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid. Wizard of Oz

Fear can’t hurt you any more than a dream. William Golding

Fear is that little darkroom where negatives are developed. Michael Pritchard

The funny thing was, I couldn’t for the life of me find a humorous quote about fear.

Which leads me to believe we’re taking fear a little too seriously.

So lets laugh at it.

That will really get its goat.

photo by p!o (flickr)



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17 responses to “Fear and Laughing

  1. njaiswal

    Congratulations on your 5000 hits! I cannot imagine how that would feel! :O
    And excellent suggestion. I’m sure if we start laughing at fear, it would really tick it off. 🙂

    Good post and best of luck!


  2. Wow!!! 5000 hits!!! Congrats Nina 😀 i can imagine what it feels like being able to touch the sky and come back 😀
    And I couldn’t agree more with you on the fear factor. Fear has been one thing that has held me back for a long time. And I’m finally changing the habit. Whenever I’m in the fear mode, my heart beats way too fast. So Put a hand over and say ‘Relax, everything is fine. nothing is wrong. Everything will go my way just relax’ and my heart relaxes within a few minutes.

    So yes fear does hold us back and we do tend to lose a lot of treasures because of it

    Congrats again for a wonderful post 😀

  3. Beautiful writing – I’m so glad 5,000 readers like me had their day enhanced by finding your blog. As this followup shows, your talent in writing/seeing with fresh eyes regarding a topic near and not-so-deare, fear, is superb.

    Emily Dickinson said, “The difference between despair and fear, is like the one between the instant of a wreck and when the wreck has been…”

    I’m certain the poet would be in favor of your solution, “laugh at it” (when we can.)

  4. You’ve done it again! xoxo

  5. Congratulations! 🙂

    Getting fear’s goat sounds a lot better than the other way round!

  6. My comment isn’t showing up–if this is a duplicate, please ignore or delete it!

    Congratulations! 🙂

    It’s far better to get fear’s goat than the other way round!

  7. Another great post. Overcoming the whole sense of inadequacy that most people feel, believing that your thoughts and words have some merit. Fear of what? Rejection, humiliation, ridicule…overcome by confidence and a sense of self-worth, and a sense that everyone is in the same boat.

  8. Aha, very wonderful thoughts once again. An interesting take on the fact that we’re all fighting ”THE” fear. Maybe if we realized we all have that common uniting factor, we’d let it draw us together instead of shutting us all in our own separate dark rooms.

    Congrats on 5,000 hits. I can see why!!

  9. ninakillham

    Absolutely, I completely agree! Thanks for commenting.

  10. ninakillham

    Nathan, I tweeted your post about publishing/music industry. It was great.

  11. Another insightful and inspiring post! I wonder about the correlation between fear and resistance. What I fear I often resist. Maybe fear and resistance are the indicators that something wonderful waits for me on the other side. I just need to wade through that dark river of fear in order to find my destiny.

  12. Congratulations! The most visits I’ve ever had to my blog in a day is 1. So far though I have a grand total of 20 visits! Go me! :S

  13. Lisa

    No wonder that post got 5,000 hits – you opened the door and let the fear out. You’re like Dorothy who exposed the man behind the curtain! Now we all know that we aren’t alone – and quite apparently in good company. Your post made me stop organizing my junk drawer in the kitchen, cleaning the bathroom, and trolling facebook to sit my own butt down and start writing! Love ya!

    P.S. I just downloaded Tart and Desire on my new Kindle…woo hoo!

  14. ninakillham

    Hey Lisa, thanks for that. So you’re a Kindler are you? I’ve been flirting with the idea. xx

  15. Hi Nina,
    thanks for visiting my comic!
    I was told awhile back that there is no physiological difference between fear (or anxiety anyway) and excitement. So, when in that jittery sweaty state, one can choose to be excited rather than scared.

  16. What’s also interesting is that so many are dealing with such a wide range of fears. Congratulations on touching a nerve that needed touching and lives that need healing.

  17. Congrats on so many hits and comments! You know, your post definitely hits a nerve with a lot of people, we all have fear about something. And it seems lately, especially in this economy, fear is even worse. Fear of losing your job, fear of not having enough money, and when it comes to writing we can be stopped by our fear of not being good enough. So, it definitely strikes a cord.

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