A Letter to Fear
Published in the Oracle 20-20 Metaphysical magazine, Atlanta, GA
When I first met you I was so young. I had so little experience out here in this big world. I was naïve and innocent, uncomplex, and idealistic. You seemed to come in just when I needed you, strong, powerful, and protective. You reminded me of all the dangers this great big world had and how much I needed to stay away from possible hurts.
You, a shadowy figure, masquerading as the people I knew and loved, engrained in me that risks were bad, being different was a social death sentence, that failure was to be avoided, and success might not be what it’s all cracked up to be. I sang a song aloud that the crowd sang, but inside a different tune rang out. I tried to quiet that melody; it made me feel too alive, and as you’d taught me before, being too alive was dangerous.
Fear, it’s been a long road; with difficult twists and setbacks. I tried to honor you by not crossing those lines you drew, in my best interest. I tried to live in a way that would please you. But I couldn’t please you. For you always wanted more of me, more of my possibility, more of my hope.
You could not be satisfied with shaping me into the woman I’d become. You had to remind me even still that I should not risk stepping out on my own; that I should be satisfied with the mundane in life and in relationships. You tried to remind me that I truly couldn’t trust anyone to keep me safe as well as you.
Fear, I must now tell you that the reason I haven’t answered your call lately is because I don’t want to hear from you. I don’t want your voice in my head so that’s why we haven’t talked. I decided to start singing out loud that song I used to only hum in my head.
I know you are there and you keep calling for me, but certain relationships just aren’t good. Yes, I’m figuring that out for myself now. My relationship with you has kept me back for far too long. It’s kept me in denial of my true myself. I’ve denied myself so much I must now learn to create my own footsteps by walking my own path. You can no longer keep me from experiencing life.
If I fall, I fall. If I fly, I fly. But either way I’ll be doing it based on my choices and what I want. From now on you don’t get to decide what I risk and what I hold onto. You don’t get to decide what passions I pursue and the dreams I dream.
You probably think I sound unreasonable right now, even a bit insane. I mean to toss aside a relationship that I’ve had since I first cried and learned that the best way to get what I needed was to be what someone else wanted me to be. Well, I think it would be insane for me to keep listening to you. Insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expect something different to happen.
I don’t expect that you’ll stop calling. In fact I know you won’t. I don’t expect that I’ll never talk to you again. I suspect I may not always have a conscious choice. But right now, today, in this moment, I am choosing to make me, not you, the deciding factor in how I live my life.
I know you didn’t mean to hurt me or make me miss out on so much. I know you were only trying to protect me and make sure I survived. Well survival isn’t good enough anymore. It’s time for me to live.