Treating Fears

I’m afraid of a lot of things that aren’t important, just like I think many people are. I fear pain, death, rejection and others. But the first three of these I see as treatable fears.

Treating the fear of pain is simple–Condition yourself to it. Go out there, and suffer little by little. Build yourself some physical and mental calluses. This is one I’ve gotten decent at myself.

Treating the fear of death is more complicated, in my opinion. In some ways it is opposite of fearing pain, because it involves fearing the unknown rather than the known. Some people seem to be built with no desire to contemplate what happens at death. I’m not one of them. I have been thinking and worrying about what happens to the dead since I was a young teen. One cannot prevent death, but one also cannot inure oneself to the moment. People only die the permanent way once. For me, religion helps with this fear of death. Current materialist philosophy bothers me because it has no comfort for the dead, so I would never look there. I never feared death less than immediately after I returned from studying Buddhism in India, though I remain a Catholic. That is an entire post of its own, but there you go.

Rejection is the fear I have not faced in over a year now. I am ashamed to admit that I don’t have the guts to submit my meager novels to editors or agents. I keep telling myself they need to be better. I still think that is true, but when will they be ready? Rejection of any sort provides a different kind of pain, the reminder that sometimes others do not believe in you. Perhaps this is why rejection is so difficult for me: I have little to work with but fragile self confidence. Rejection is treatable the same way as other pains, by learning to endure it.

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