Last night, my house caught on fire. A seemingly spontaneous short circuit in the wiring inside of a wall first produced a loud scraping sound, and then a strange roar not unlike a leaf blower, and when I came into the room to see what was going on, I saw sparks and smoke coming out of an electrical outlet.
Somehow, I found the presence of mind to run to the fuse box and throw a circuit breaker to stop the flow of electricity to the outlet. The noise and the sparks stopped, and the hot wall gradually cooled down, but the electricity was out for half of the house, far more than could be accounted for by the circuit breaker that I threw.
All that night, I had feelings of dread. My mind assumed the worst - the house will soon catch fire by itself and burn down and take me with it, or all of the wiring will have to be replaced and insurance won't cover it for one reason or another. In my mind, I had visions of walls broken open for wiring repair, of exorbitant repair bills, of smoke and of fire damage. I could barely get myself to call an electrician in the morning I was dreading the outcome so much.
But I did call, and when he arrived, he at first looked as concerned as I did, but then had everything fixed in less than 15 minutes. No big deal, he explained, and the short probably started because the previous owner had painted over the outlets, including the plates and the sockets, and some combination of an ungrounded wire and the lack of heat ventilation due to the paint caused the reaction. I was advised to replace the remaining painted outlets.
The point of this post is 1) a lesson in home safety - don't paint over your outlets and replace any ones that have been painted, and 2) things usually aren't as bad as your mind imagines they may be. We create our own little fantasies of the worst that could happen, and then inflict suffering onto ourselves, and often on others, as we indulge in our fantasies. It's better to face things as they are, and deal with the good and the bad as it comes up.