A Letter to Fear.
Since I was never described as a fearless child, I’m going to assume you’ve been one of my oldest companions. You’re always been easy to find, actually. That time all of the cousins climbed that massive Magnolia tree in the front yard but I stayed grounded, I credit you for that. Certain I would be the one to fall & break an arm or worse, be embarrassed, you saved me from experiencing the feeling of bark on my hands, navigating between the smaller branches to find the strong. My whole memory is looking up—up at my cousins climbing and climbing like it was no big deal while I stood still.
The first day of middle school was loud, but I was a mouse. Fear, you helped me take it all in & process this new building where I would spend 40 hours every week for the next 3 years. You assessed people & told me when it was okay to speak. If I began to talk but was shadowed by someone taller, cooler, louder—someone with a commanding presence—you reigned me in with a quickness that kept me safe from feeling silly. You are the reason people get labeled “shy.”
When auditions opened for the spring musical, I fought you to try out, but you reminded me constantly that I wasn’t good. Humility prevents arrogance, but you, Fear, prevent confidence.
Sometimes you have to make the choice of what exactly needs to be feared in a situation, & that choice proves hard, but the unknown makes you go into overdrive. Fear. You don’t have all the answers. I get it. But because you don’t have the answers, you cling to every wall in my head, blocking my life-view.
And I’m done with that. I’m over you.
I have the right as a human being and child of God to harbor the thoughts I choose & therefore dismiss the ones I deem unworthy. Fear, you are unworthy of my time. Yes, we all need a certain degree of fear in our systems keeping us from leaping off cliffs & running into traffic, but I think that’s wired into our DNA. It kicks in on its own around the age of five. But when Fear is more than a natural way of keeping us from harm’s way, the cliff & the traffic seem not only present, but they seem to stay on our heels, taunting us. That’s not the life for me.
The antidote of you is Love. To choose Love, we have to believe we are worthy of Love, we are pursued for the purpose of Love, & we are made to Love. When those things become real & not just a lovely thought, suddenly there isn’t room for you, Fear. And I’m not even sorry to push you out because I don’t think you were ever meant for such a big role. I’m actually doing you a favor. Go take a really long nap, Fear. You are unworthy of my time. From this moment on, I choose to only harbor Love.