I can feel it, the weight of a perverted glory pouring down over my head-a halo of brimstone- like some renegade angel hellbent on existential renaissance. It does not go away, does not even pretend to be gone when I am strong, merely tolerates my temporal stabs at acting like I’ve moved beyond it. I am trapped in fear, mired in its salty clutches, forever the male spider feasted upon, never quite devoured unto the birthing of the black widow.
“Afterall,” comes Fear’s sultry whisper, “there is no courage- no bravery- without fear. I enable you to embody those virtues you hold most dear.”
And then I’m spun off into the dizzying twirl of my thoughts, and the dance continues on.
Fear knows me.
It challenges me.
Rips apart the protective shielding around my comfort zone
and cuts at my heart with the pieces.
Fear gives me a valid excuse to indulge two habits I work very hard to tamp down, things the world frowns upon even as it profits from exploiting them.
Fear gives me a right to be angry. To let genuine, scalding wrath pour through my veins. It is communion of the soul. A tempestuous addiction; a frightening elixir. Nonetheless, this is the path I always find my way back to- the only tread my feet know without the hand of my consciousness to guide them.
I hate being scared.
Hate making choices out of fear.
The catch is that whenever Fear finds me, it’s always in the middle of me middling about doing something I need to make a decision about, OR in the middle of me pushing through on a decision already made. Fear either lights the fire or keeps the flames stoked.
Which is why- after the depression, and sadness, and melancholy, and self hate, and doubt, and more depression, and distraction, and self pity, and more depression- I always get fed up. Fed up with living timidly. Fed up with being too fearful to try things my way, be my own full person, take calculated risks that I believe in, jump off the cliff edge and build a set of wings on the way down.
I get fed up with all of it.
And then I get angry.
Which leads to the second part.
They say fear haunts
And pain hates
I say pain strengthens
And fear drives faith
And, of course, we can’t forget the irrevocably present voice of the ancient text.
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? … So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
Fear makes me fight for my life if, for no other reason, so that Fear doesn’t claim my life.
Fear torments me into the strength to be my best self.
Fear claws my mind into the fragments needed to weave an elegant mosaic, fractures my emotional health into the building blocks of a more precise immune system.
Yet, no matter the strength, Fear is there still.
There is no elegance it cannot unravel, no immunity it cannot overcome.
Fear is the promiscuous bride, instructing you in the tenets of faithfulness, by means of continuous betrayal and heartbreak.
I am the Robin to its Batman.
I hate Fear.
I know Fear.
I’m scared RIGHT NOW, typing this all out.
Fear may drive me to the two extremes of anger and fight,
but it is a long, dusty, worm ridden road to get there.
But what if you’re not making as much sense as you think you are?
What if this has already been written about?
Are you even qualified to do the work you’re putting your hand to?
You’re calling this “faith,” but- really- it could just as easily be stupidity or delusion.
You don’t know love, you know attachment.
Are you actually growing, or have you just gotten really good at concealing your mistakes?
of the worms.
Truth may set you free, but there’s no guarantee where your freedom is set. It could be the clear blue skies of oceanic nirvanna, the gilded roadsides of messianic dwelling-
or it could just as easily be a cackling mad house of horrors.
Tell me, oh warrior, what does one do when one’s freedom is madness?
No matter how much I accomplish, how much I win, how much I learn from losses, how much I elevate, how much I hone this fine craft of existence that we call living-
fear is ever present with me.
tempting me. taunting me. threatening me with visions that are far too real to ever BE real, but are chilling to the bone nonetheless.
You are not the only one.
I know Fear.
It is my greatest, most consistent life partner in every conceivable way.
And I hate it.
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