photography by Tracy Sheppard of Studio Soleil



This is the time of year that some people shell out hard earned cash to be frightened to the core! Dollar bills are swapped out for a chance to step inside the Fear Forest, Haunted House or Carnival of Horrors. The more gruesome and scary the better.  It seems that a trip to ‘the edge’ is growing in popularity.

Yet, the other 11 months out of the year; we struggle to face some of our deepest fears. Fear of public speaking, fear of flying, or fear of heights, or any one of the more than 100 different fears and phobias known, keep us from new encounters.

Some of these fears literally keep us from experiencing life to the fullest.  How many times does our trepidation keep us from travel, a new job, meeting interesting people or seeking our dream?

Our fear of inadequacy and concerns of not belonging are probably two of the deepest fears we may wrestle with.

I’ve been thinking about this…. It’s a bit ironic, don’t you think? Each year these Haunted Houses try to outdo one another in the fear factor department. They have come a long way since the ‘Fun Houses’ I grew up with.


What is it about our fascination with Zombies, Ghouls, and Ghosts? Halloween is now the most decorated Holiday during the year.

Our obsession with being frightened to the core is puzzling to me.

How many of us struggle with deep, often unspoken, fears?  Shame and the thought of ridicule often keep these fears private, thus creating more anguish.

“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

Being honest about the things we are afraid of takes true courage. First we need to admit to ourselves that having these fears are holding us back or keeping us from living wholeheartedly.

If you journal (and I hope you do!); I like to suggest writing down your strengths. You should also record your fears. Becoming aware of these emotions is a good place to begin.

This is the beginning journey to understanding.

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