Okay, maybe I’m fudging that a little. It is Halloween after all, and I admit that things like haunted houses and haunted trails and movies like The Ring or It scare me a little (The Birds is for the birds though – that one makes me laugh). But other than ghosts and chainsaws and headless horsemen, there are bigger, uglier, much scarier things out there — things that aren’t just a mask or a sheet or a really realistic looking head gash.
…worrying I’ll never fall in love again, or that someone will fall in love with me.
…wondering if I’ll end my days alone.
…second-guessing my friendships and relationships every which way.
…questioning what my career path is and fearing that I’m missing something every time.
Some of these scary things may be on your list, too. Or maybe you’re thinking they’re not that scary — that I’m just a scaredy-cat. But we all have our own ghosts and things that scare us. They appear in the form of nightmares, in the fear of failure, in the way we handle the stresses in our lives, in the faces of the people that know us to the core and that don’t know us at all. They are around every corner, lurking, waiting to jump out at us and make us lose our breath and put a hand to our hearts to stop the pounding. They wake us in the night, forcing the lights on and few moments of deep breaths to calm down. They creep up in conversations with our friends, lovers, family, and coworkers, and they chase us in our dreams and never-ending to-do lists.
The things that scare me come more than just once a year on Halloween…they are a constant presence. And try as I might, a mantra “I ain’t ‘fraid of no ghosts” doesn’t always do the trick.
But sometimes, the things that scare us make us stronger. They remind us to look our fears in the face and laugh back — to say, I will love and be loved, I will find my passion and follow it, I will share my life with others. And then as the sun rises on a new day, the ghosts recede into the shadows, afraid of me, afraid that I will banish them once and for all…and I will.