Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. –Marianne Williamson
Five years old on a cool September morning. Combed hair, pressed pants, and a backpack yet to be unzipped. The giant, yellow future rolls to a stop and opens its doors in front of those saucer-sized sapphire eyes. This is it. A deep breath, a small wave, and stepping up.
A dark room illuminated by the flashing brightness of a meaningless film. The only things that matter are your arm around her shoulders, the synchronized rising and falling of chests, and that she doesn’t notice your sweaty palms. She looks up at you. This is it. A deep breath, closed eyes, and leaning in.
An immaculate hospital room beeping to the beat of his failing heart. His eyes swim as he claps you on the shoulder and musters up the best show of a smile he can. You grab his hand as the mountains of heartbeat become prairie. This is it. A deep breath, a tear, and letting go.
I dream of fearless.
I stumble along paths barely lit.
I know headlights don’t reveal much when you’re standing still
but forward motion leaves too much up to Fate,
and she can’t be trusted with anything.
I barricade my heartbeat so when it quickens, no one sees it
Sweat is a sign of defeat
Trembling is for the
weak. Weak. Weak.
It haunts me in my sleep.
They say there is nothing to fear but fear itself.
Well, then I call “abandonment” fear
and I call “failure” fear
and “the future,” “moving on,” and “opening up” fear.
But truth be told,
I am embarrassed by my burden.
My albatross doesn’t look heavy to those who don’t carry it.
He isn’t the first kiss or the last goodbye,
but rather a blank sheet of paper.
In fearless, it’s not “fear” I worry about.
Less than perfect, less than satisfactory, less than enough.
That alligator’s mouth of < feeds on my confidence
or whatever you call what I have left of it.
They say you aren’t afraid of the dark, but rather, what’s in it.
I’m not afraid of the silence, but rather, what it isn’t.
Even prayer is a one sided conversation.
I fear what happens when I
speak too loudly
write too quickly
breathe too deeply
see too much
cry too often.
We all do.
If it’s our light, not our darkness, that frightens us
what happens when the light shows us too much?
Images forever burned on our corneas,
scratched into our brain matter,
branded on our souls.
The light shows too many scars
while in the darkness, we can pretend they’re constellations.
I am afraid of no longer being afraid.
The road to courage whispers,
“Step up, Lean in, Let go.”
All we have to do is listen.