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The Many Faces of Fear

As a child, I had many fears. The faces of fear are many; some seem silly now but they sure had a hold of me as a child. Thankfully, I can now laugh in the face of those fears and I often do. In fact, my childhood fears have become a place of hilarity in my family and this is quite healthy!

Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.

Dorothy Thompson, American Journalist

Let me be quick to say that I know fear is real for all of us and for some it can be debilitating. I am not trying to squash fear but merely share my fears in a light-hearted way and hopefully encourage us all to realize how normal we really are when we recognize our fears.


Many Faces of Fear

Childhood fears were real for me! I guess the correct way to refer to them would be phobias and there are so many phobias that exist; what’s fascinating to me is that everyone I meet has at least one phobia that is unique to them. I am sure my parents wondered “where is all of this coming from?” Even as an adult I cannot explain the reason for some of my fears but I’m thankful I have overcome most of them or at least figured out how to be brave in the face of them or even better, laugh at them.

lady petting a black cow
Facing a BIG fear and finding that cows are pretty awesome!

My Fears..Past and Present

  • Stormy weather (cue the weather radio and I’m done!)
  • My sister doing something dangerous (she was the extrovert!)
  • Heights (Just makes me nervous-plain and simple)
  • Open staircases (don’t look down)
  • Snakes (they are fast…what do you do?)
  • Rollercoasters (nope, not even getting on one)
  • The Mall closing (while I’m inside!)
  • Cows!

Fear Shouldn’t be Feared

I’ve learned that many of our fears stem from trauma, stress, or genetics. However, some fears are given to us as protection. They help us determine how to stay safe and I truly believe that is the root of my fears. I was a naturally cautious child and maybe that translated as fear or caused me to be fearful. Today, I know that fear gives me strength and often pushes me to get out there and live a little! Thank goodness!!

Each of us must confront our own fears, must come face to face with them. How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives. To experience adventure or to be limited by the fear of it.

~Judy Blume, Tiger Eyes

So, Why Cows?

I was tiny as a child and a large cow was good reason to fear. My first experience with cows was in Goodman, Mississippi around 1975. My Pappaw had a pasture with cows. All the cousins would be so excited to pile into the back of his pick-up truck to ride through the pasture to see the cows. I was scared to death to do this, but I sure wasn’t going to be left behind. So, I went. Looking back, nothing bad ever happened with the cows. It was fear of the unknown that caused me angst. The cows couldn’t have cared less about us. Maybe I just had a really good imagination! I have searched for a photograph of all of us in my pappaw’s truck, but no luck yet (I’ll keep digging). Fortunately for me, I have a daughter who can take a thought, description, or simple idea and quickly sketch it out with pencil. Here is a look at my memory through the eyes and hand of Abigail, my daughter.

Face the Fear

Over the years, cows have been thrown into my world. I even married a man that grew up raising cows and still had them when we met. God is funny that way! My first trip to Texas was in 2020 and guess what….one of our dear friends found a cow pasture and called the cows. They came running just by the sound of his voice! I was mesmerized by this and now I’m thinking maybe cows aren’t so bad after all. They know when to answer.

Another Pasture, Another Cow

Fast forward to Labor Day weekend of 2021 and I really got out there to face my fear. Our friends bought a beautiful piece of property in Alabama and guess what…the pasture had cows grazing around in the valley. Sure enough, the guys had to stop the truck and get out. So, I walked with them and again, they called the cows. It was my time to reach out and make some new friends. The many faces of my fears looked right at me and just like that, fear is gone! I didn’t want to leave that field. Not really because of the cows but because of the peace that is found when we go outside and let nature fall all around us.

Safety and Strength

Listing my fears almost makes me sound crazy, but at least most of them have faded over time..okay, some do still raise their ugly head occasionally. However, my fear of cows has been faced. I now actually think they are quite peaceful to be around. They may be huge, but they’re gentle creatures that can offer us some insight into a life with less fear and more trust in God’s willingness to provide. My biggest lesson about fear is that we all fear something and that is okay. Fear can keep us safe but it can also make us stronger! Now that is a life well-lived.

two vintage chairs with cowhide  seats

I’ve come a long way from my fear! These vintage chairs are some of my recent finds and they are quickly becoming a favorite.

mountaintop clipart

What is something you fear? Hopefully, you can find a way to face it….this can be life-changing!

Daybook The Curiosity of You

4 Comments

  • Abigail
    September 26, 2021 at 5:43 pm

    You don’t know how brave you truly are! I think it’s okay to be afraid of being trapped in a closing mall (LOL) if you are brave enough to be your authentic self everyday. It all evens out. Always breaking the mold of the “norm” and inspiring everyone around you with your creativity and passion. Keep it up!

    Reply
    • Kristy Dodson
      September 29, 2021 at 2:14 pm

      Haha! The mall!! The good news is that most malls are closing around us so maybe I won’t have to worry about this fear any longer 🙂 Thank you for your comments. You inspire me every day!!

      Reply
  • Jean Newton
    September 25, 2021 at 2:06 pm

    I think this is my favorite blog so far! Yes, fear can be very “crippling” if not faced and dealt with. I believe you have done both. Of course, I’m proud of you for that but most proud of your courage to jump into this new project of writing from your heart. I love it! That Abigail never ceases to amaze me! So much talent! Keep up the good work! ❤️

    Reply
    • Kristy Dodson
      September 25, 2021 at 6:38 pm

      Thanks, mom!! Your encouragement means a lot and keeps me going for sure. Oh, and thanks for understanding and being so patient with all my crazy fears. Love you~

      Reply

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