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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Kendon (Sanders)

Fear Not Welcome

Updated: Oct 28, 2019


Fear is the very reason I delayed the beginning of my blog, the launch of my podcast and many others things throughout my life. For this reason, it became the very first topic of my first full length podcast. This is the outline for the episode.

A simple and useful definition of fear is: An anxious feeling, caused by our anticipation of some imagined event or experience.

If you noticed, by this definition, fear is imagined.

I don’t know about you – but to me, fear is REAL. To be told it is imagined used to make me feel as if having fear was silly, but over the course of my life and its events, the number of fears held and gravity felt by those fears just grew.

Fear is real!

Dr Karl Albrecht's, a well known modern philosopher and speaker said there are 5 Types of Fears. I have dealt with all five of these.

The first fear Dr Albrecht categorized as ExtinctionThe fear of annihilation, of ceasing to exist--- a fear that one day we would simply no longer BE.

The most impactful time that I had fear in this form was when I received a call in January of 2009… I said hello and the man on the other end said, “This is Dr Dietrich from the Gynecology Oncology Department, your recent scans…..” The words that followed didn’t matter… I knew what Oncology meant. I lost my father to cancer. A doctor of Oncology calling me meant there was cause for concern. It also happened that I was 16 weeks pregnant with our second child. I immediately feared for myself, but moreso for her. n another episode I will share my entire cervical cancer scare and miracle, but for now I want to introduce you to the daughter I was pregnant with at the time. The only reason I had been to the doctors for them t find the cancer was because I was pregnant with her. We liked to believe she was sent to rescue me… and there was one day, where her own life flashed before her eyes.

Clara, will you tell us what you are afraid of and why?

--- Clara tells her fireworks story here

The next fear is Mutilation or Bodily Invasion The fear of losing a part of our body, having our body's boundaries invaded, or of losing a natural function. I don’t think I need to go into detail about this one…

My daughter Mailan has extreme anxiety over needles. It is pretty common for kids to this this fear. It is unnatural to allow a sharp object to pierce our flesh.

3.. Loss of Autonomy, Separation, Abandonment

The fear of being restricted, confined, trapped, suffocated. As Dr. Albrecht puts it "the fear of being immobilized, smothered, or otherwise controlled by circumstances beyond our control." When it's a physical fear it's called claustrophobia, but it can also apply to situations in our lives like our relationships or jobs.

4. Separation, Abandonment or Rejection.

The fear of abandonment, rejection - we humans have a strong need to belong. This is my biggest fear. My mom was an incredible wiper of tears and helped me when I had a nightmare and is an incredible Mimi to my girls. My father was awesome. He taught me how to farm and had been a hometown hero, and my person one, too. My parents divorced when I was one and I never knew what it was like to be a part of one solid family. My earliest memory was of my mother’s marriage to my step father. My natural Dad moved to Texas at some point in time and then moved back when I was 8. My mom and stepdad divorced when I was a young teen. In the middle of that, I developed a defense mechanism to stuff my feelings. I feared upsetting people for fear of being rejected and/or abandoned. This carried with me throughout my teens and into adulthood with difficult breakups of my own. My husband now bears heavy weight of other people’s burdens. When our relationship is not all sunshine and rainbows, my mind almost immediately goes to a dark place wondering when not if he will leave me.

This fear of abandonment and rejection has at times stolen joy from my marriage and as real as the hurts of my past are, Joe has proven to be nothing other than a dedicated man. I have had to recognize what triggers me to feel fear of abandonment, to claim it immediately and disallow it to affect our current or future emotional health.

I don't blame anyone for my past, life happens to us all. If I hadn't gone through some of what I had, I wouldn't be who I am today.

5. Humiliation, Shame or Worthlessness.

Dr. Albrecht called this type of fear, "Ego-death". We all the desire to feel loved, worthy and valued .

Many things can trigger us toward death of our ego… to include criticism, bullying, making mistakes.


I suffer from fear of what others will think of me.

There are so many things in my past that has led to this fear.

The break-up of my first elementary best friend who I watched soar into the popular crowd, and although I was friends with them all, I was definitely not one of them.

The first months learning to play the saxophone and being laughed at for sounding like a dying cow.

Not being chosen for the cheerleading squad.

Hearing an uncle tell my Dad that my sister and I would end up on drugs or worse because he didn’t feel we were being raised properly.

Those all affected me in different ways. There are other examples, some of which are so heavy I won’t even mention them at this time --- But they left me feeling like I either had to be the best or be quiet. I felt it better to be unnoticed completely than noticed for something that could be criticized as less than great. A low self worth and intense fear of criticism left me afraid to try too hard for too much.

I knew I was a writer, but I didn’t put pen to paper as regularly or as often as I could because I was certain my thoughts were not worth sharing. Just about a year ago I clearly heard the call to write again. Beginning with a letter, expending to my blog and now this podcast, I am now able to clearly see that this is part of who I am. My mess is a message to be shared and The greatest news here is that fear can be overcome.

The process over overcoming a fear is similar for all types fear, please know that I do not mean to minimize any of yours as I walk through this example. I am simplifying it with my personal example of dealing with my fear of spiders, but I know friends, I know different fears will take much more time and diligence than this.

To begin to overcome my fear of spiders, I first had to identify it. That was pretty easy. I saw a spider scurry, I screamed and jumped up on the table… fear identified.

For bigger fears this first step is more involved, you must

IDENTIFY IT, ACCEPT IT AND FEEL IT , sure, but you may also have t - TALK ABOUT IT or WRITE IT DOWN IN A JOURNAL – definitely DON’T STUFF IT. Talking to my husband about my fear of abandonment and rejection allowed him to better understand me and for us to discuss ways for him to help me overcome it. He knows I require a bit more communication than he has been previously used to. A simple “hey Carrie I have to a meeting at 5pm tomorrow so I will be home a bit late” is a whole lot easier than the myriad of “where were you, who were you with and why do you not love me’s that would come otherwise”. Acknowledging fear early and often allows you to also notice triggers and potentially thwart issues all together.

The next step in the process is to face your fear -Back to my fear of spiders…

I STARTED SMALL - I began to conquer my fear of spiders while hiking. We encounter many spider webs across the trails during the early mornings hikes, so I simply chose to be the lead hiker, armed with a stick to take down the webs we encountered. This forced me to be on the lookout for spiders and to be in closer proximity than my liking. I eventually began taking pictures of them. And ultimately, began seeing them for the cool and sometimes beautiful creatures they are.

Then I had to continue to practice overcoming my fear of spiders, this was as simple as not fumigating my entire house after single arachnid sighting anymore.

PRACTICE IT – For another example such public speaking, it makes sense to practice the speech a number of time to feel comfortable with the information. Practicing for other types of fear is useful too. For Clara to get over her fear of fireworks, she had to begin by watching them from inside a building from a distance. Over time, that distance has gotten smaller. She has even been able to see smaller fireworks while outside again and can handle sparklers herself. She still wasn’t ready for sitting under the stars for the big 4thof July fireworks display at our local park this year, but she will get there over time.

The last and most difficult step to overcoming fear is to

LET IT GO –I have not completely gotten over my fear of spiders, if one drops down from my car roof while driving, I will likely hyperventilate as I pull over to rid my vehicle of the beast in any manner necessary, but I am a work in progress. As an illustration of how to let a fear go for good, I have to look no further than a dear friend who was once so afraid of being along that she would jump into any relationship she could. This lead to many toxic situations, broken hearts and sleepless nights. After going through the steps of identifying, facing and practicing her fear by living alone, she realized her life was much better as a single lady at peace than in a couple relationship at odds. My friend would still be very pleased to find a lifelong companion, but is perfectly content with herself in the waiting.

There is an incredible song by Francesca Battistelli and some of the lyrics go:

Fear, you don't own me, There ain't no room in this story And I ain't got time for you, Telling me what I'm not Like you know me well guess what? I know who I am- I know I'm strong - And I am free - Got my own identity So fear, you will never be welcome here.

As I closed the first full episode of my podcast, I can honestly say, there was nothing to be afraid about. I pray the responses I receive are positive and my words are life giving – but if they weren’t, that’s ok, too. It just means this message wasn’t meant for you. I ask you to pass it along to someone who may need to hear it, though.

To listen to this as a podcast this click here

Podcast Special Guest: Clara Joelle

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