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A man who had a morbid fear of thunder, went to see a psychiatrist. ‘You have a condition called brontophobia,’ the doctor said. ‘It’s silly to be afraid of thunder at your age. Just think of it as a drum roll in the symphony of life.’
‘What if that doesn’t work?’ the man asked. The psychiatrist replied, ‘Then do what I do. When you hear thunder, stuff cotton wool in your ears, crawl under the bed, and sing “Mary Had a Little Lamb” at the top of your lungs until the thunder stops.’
Seriously, most fears are based on feelings, not facts. Try to look beyond your fears and uncover the expectations that lie beneath them. For example, if you were raised in poverty you may be afraid to be generous. If you were abandoned you may be afraid to trust anyone, or you may cling to people and try to control them. If you were abused you may fear emotional and physical intimacy. If you were constantly criticised you may be afraid that you won’t be forgiven. If you don’t feel beautiful or intelligent, or you’re not from a high-class family, you may be afraid to mix with people or talk to them in case they look down on you.
American humourist James Thurber wrote, ‘All men should strive to learn before they die, what they are running from, and to, and why.’