Can you be brave?

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Lately I’ve come across a lot of inspirational quotes/articles that preach about conquering your fear and banishing that mental block that’s preventing you from your dreams. While I agree with the sentiment, it got me thinking about FEAR.

We’ve all been told, time and time again, that fear is only a figment of our imagination and that we have the power to crush our fears. But does that make our fears any less fearful?

When I was growing up, they were quite a few supernatural shows on TV – Charmed, Supernatural, Buffy the Vampire Slayer etc. Out of all the demons I was introduced to, Barbas – the Demon of Fear was one that stayed with me because of how plausible a demon he could be (Charmed fans will recognize this one). A recurring character on the show, Barbas tried to destroy the Charmed Ones by using their fears against them. According to the storyline, Barbas (who kills by manipulating your greatest fear) can only be defeated if a witch conquers her fear.

“A witch’s only defense is to identify and then release her greatest fears. Do not rely on your wicca powers for defence, for in the face of your greatest fear, those powers are paralyzed.” – Book of Shadows

During Barbas’ first series appearance, the Charmed Ones possess very material fears – elevators (Phoebe), drowning (Prue) etc. Through the intervention of family and friends, they manage to conquer their fears and banish Barbas. But Barbas’ second appearance is where it gets interesting. There is this one scene in particular, where Barbas confronts Phoebe.

To which Barbas calmly retorts that there would be elevators if that were still Phoebe’s greatest fear. Her greatest fear has changed to losing a loved one and Barbas uses that knowledge to cripple her magic. (Anyone else starting to draw parallels to real life or just me?)

I think the reason this scene resonated with me is because we, as individuals, often can’t identify our fears. While we can identify things that make us nervous or scared, we don’t know what stops us from taking that next step. Since our fears are constantly changing depending on our surroundings, our stressors and our experiences, we often don’t know what our greatest fear is. So how do you fight something you don’t know?

Personally, I just leave my fears in the hands of a higher power and pray that I may never meet my Barbas.

What about you?


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