Layout Image

It’s Easy to Talk About Fear

This thought struck me the other day.

That it’s easy to talk about fear.

On the online world we do it all the time. Talk about the things we’re afraid of, the leaps we fear to make, the next steps that give us butterflies, the words we’re hesitantly sharing, the doubts that hold us back.

You could almost say we’ve got it off to a fine art. (I suspect I do anyway ;-) )

And to be honest, there’s not so much risk in that sharing. Yes, it requires an element of honesty, of admission of vulnerability, of not knowing, of being less than perfect, of being only human.

Yet you probably know somewhere, if only at the back of your mind, that this admission and acknowledgement will be treated with kindness, and understanding, and encouragement to press on, to flap your wings, and fly bravely.

We’ve learned the words for it: the confession, and the response.

It’s something we’ve learned how to do.

Altogether harder to talk about the other side. The flip side.


The things we do not fear, but love.

That seems to be where the real doubts rush in: that our words won’t be enough to paint a good enough picture of the things we see, hear, feel, notice, wonder at, love.

The things we want to tell about…

… but fear we’ll never find the words for.

The things we want to tell about, but fear (secretly) that we’ll show too much of ourselves in so doing, reveal too much of our inner hearts if we paint too vivid a picture of what it is we really love.

The objects of our loving attention seem too soft somehow: fleeting, vulnerable, small, not worthy of much broohaha, just simple everyday ordinary.


And precisely what we need to find the courage to talk about.

What we need to find the words for: imperfect, inadequate, heartfelt human sized words and pictures to tell.


This is a contribution to the mini-series on glorious imperfection.

Share on Twitter


  1. Arthur Durkee

    “Woundology” is a word invented by Dr. Caroline Myss, who uses it to describe how people develop intimacy by talking about their wounds. And also how they can use their wounds as a way of controlling the conversation.

    The world is full of people who are addicted to the endocrinal rush they feel when in extreme emotional situations. We can call them addrenaline junkies, drama queens, fear-junkies, etc. Whole segments of the entertainment industry are designed to serve these folks.

    Which often leaves those of us without the addiction rather cold. I have no problem anymore being (almost) completely open and honest. It’s something you can learn to do with practice. What you have to learn is to not be afraid of getting attacked for being open and honest—the other side of the paradox of fear.

  2. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Arthur Durkee,

    Thank you - much food for thought here. I was particularly struck by the reference to woundology, and have since - probably not surprisingly - seen evidence of it littered all over the place.