Yeah, I was vague. Sort of intentionally, because I don't like to make anyone feel uncomfortable.
So here's the deal:
When I was little, I developed a huge fear of being kidnapped. It kept me up at night, it kept me constantly vigilant and fearful. It's important to note that I grew up in very safe and peaceful rural suburbia. Nevertheless, instead of sitting on the backseat of my mom's Jeep Cherokee, I sat behind the driver's seat, on the floor. I was afraid that if the kidnappers saw me, they'd come after me and hurt my mom in the process. I wasn't quite as scared when my dad was in the car, too, but I still regarded every car we passed or that passed us with wariness and suspicion. This couldn't have been normal - an otherwise healthy 8 year old with so little trust in the world - but that's how it was. I got over it eventually, though I still imagined horrible harm with a weird clarity. Driving home from a friend's house at 16, I was so worried about a driver behind me (I thought he was following me so he could run me off the road and kill me) that I called 911. Of course the guy wasn't following me, but that wasn't the last time I called 911 with such concerns.
After high school I spent a year in Sweden before going to college. After the darkest winter imaginable (though I did see the northern lights at like 4 pm, which was very cool), I was dying for sunlight. I went to the Canary Islands - Fuerteventura - with a friend to recover from the season of endless night. On our last night there, I was walking alone from a restaurant to our hotel and was abducted and assaulted by a coked-out local who'd probably seen me leave. I'm fine - I'm so lucky - but it's not lost on me that I'd spent years fearing what had ultimately come to pass.
That's why the comment about how constant worrying can become a prayer for the negative. The comment about object fixation; it interests me because I think it's very true, and not just in mountain biking.
And as for inner peace, well, when I'm raging inside, I think about this, the siren song of tortured (or, ahem, melodramatic) artists:
"one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star."
-Frederich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, part I