Fear Spelled Backwards


Fear is such an interesting word.  Only 4 letters, but whose meaning, when combined with an object, carries a power that is daunting and overwhelming and even stifling at times.  Fear, in my life, seems to come in a variety of shades and hues.  This week, a question for reflection and writing was posted in my {in}courage writing group.  We were simply asked;

“What fear keeps you standing still or running in the other direction and how can you learn to dance with it?”

I thought of the irrational fears that I have. The kind that come from reading a scary book late into the night while my husband is away, when I turn out the lights, noises and creaks transform into a stranger creeping around inside my house.  Or the anxiety that came while taking a math quiz in school or even, my mild anxiety over having to make small talk.

I also considered my rational fears.  The ones I have about avoiding poisonous animals or aggressive dogs.  Or my maternal instinct that worries for my children, their future, their accomplishments, and successes.  Other rational fears are those that I’ve experienced regarding my future security when I look at my bank account and wonder how we will ever pay for something that’s necessary or when I have a particularly bad doctor visit and I wonder what the future might hold for me medically speaking. The ones associated with my writing fall into this category and are the type that halt my finger from pressing down on the publish button. These worries while based on rational truths can impede my joy of life if I allow them to overtake my thoughts.

The fears that are less concrete and more internal.  The ones that I’m intimately acquainted with that reside in pain. The fear of loss.  This fear, I think, encompasses all because the object that I’m fearful of could be emotional, spiritual, mental, or physical.  The fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of physical pain or death, a fear that is real or imagined.  At times, fear, itself, is what I fear.  These fears slither in when I’m tired, depressed, lonely, vulnerable, and convince me in these moments of lies and false truths.


The answer to fear I think is looking at it from a different perspective and not giving it a foothold.  As I thought about the word, I rearranged the letters.  By writing the word backwards, I discovered an interesting insight when I looked up the word, raef. The Urban Dictionary defines

raef” = the art of being able to excel in almost everything simply by being yourself. Note that it spells “fear” backwards. “

A second definition for this word is “an intelligent, hot Italian guy” which might make my husband fearful.

I need to recognize my fear, spell it backwards by driving it out and embracing it.  This step is possible by the encouragement of loved ones.  Those who help me dance through, around, and on top of the fears that have me frozen.  I also find great strength in repeating scripture.  Like a mantra, I pound the verse or phrase into my being until the grace and assurance of God washes down deep into the marrow of my bones and very existence overcoming my strong will.  When I place all of my irrational, rational and internal fears into the hands of God and let go, I can accomplish all that He has planned simply by being who He has called me to be.



“I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4 NIV Bible


6 thoughts on “Fear Spelled Backwards

  1. I love both definitions for “fear” spelled backward but knowing that we can be empowered to excel at anything by being ourselves is very reassuring. Fear has a tendency to creep in and make a home if we don’t take the time to arm ourselves with God’s truth. Thank you for being so vulnerable. Blessings, Mimi!

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