fear will never make a good lover

I’ve tried to give equal amounts of love and attention to both fear and to the other parts of my life. These two, mind you, are two disjoint sets. 

Oops, atleast they were, I mean. *fear sniggers in the background*

This, btw, is what happens when I allow fear to be my lover. 

Tell tale signs that you have fear as a lover: you say no when you want to say yes, you say yes when you want to say no. You want to go after it but think you can’t. You want it to come after you but you think you aren’t worth it. You want to create and be fearless, but you are duped into thinking that you aren’t good enough. You question your goodness ceaselessly and trust in your insignificance implicitly. 

You feel constantly smothered. There isn’t any anchor that makes you feel centered. You are diagnosed with inertia that has nothing to do with a lazy summer day. 

Most telling of all: this feeling plays itself over and over like a broken record that won’t shut up- more, more, more. More, more, more. More, more, more. Yet you can’t pinpoint what that more is. You can’t tell who’s hammering it on your heart. Fear can’t either but it whispers in your ear “that is our enemy.”

i.

Fear will always keep you small and boxed up and within the lines. Fear will always tell you why that idea isn’t good enough. Fear will shut you up the minute you open your mouth to inhale air so that you can use your voice. Fear will pipe up first to give it’s opinion on things and tout that as being the only practical and sane one. Fear will tell you that you aren’t made for more.

I remember the feeling I got when I first started this blog. Exhilaration and pride. I had done something fear had kept me from doing since so long. Scored! I felt shy and hesitant but I knew I could never be at peace unless I gave blogging a chance atleast. And it wasn’t the prospect of actually starting a blog that frightened the jitters out of me. It was the fact that I was going to put myself out there and share something I had only always kept for myself- my words and the tumultuous whirlpools swirling inside me that they spoke of. I cannot lie while writing. I go to writing for solace and understanding. To lie there would be to make sacrilegious something that was previously holy. 

And while I had a deep need to share + to be seen and heard, I was equally terrified of this longing coming to pass. To be seen would mean to be on the edge, in the line of target as a potential victim- of judgements and criticisms. Especially my own. I didn’t think i could handle that. Fear didn’t think I could handle that. 

ii. 

Truth of the matter is- we are capable of handling (with grace) so much more. We are capable of being so much more. Yet fear tells us otherwise. And we listen. We think the mountain top is not for us, that only the struggling climb to the apex is what’s in our fate, that we’ll never reach. And the result? We give up midways or pull back on our efforts or, having reached the top, fail to see it for what it is. Fear clouds our vision that way. 

iii. 

I am just beginning to recognize the spots where my lens is clouded and so limits my vision. My blog is one of those spots. Blog and commercial and success and followers seem to go together. But that never was the case for me. I care about + love the people who read my words and then tell me how much they love them. They dont come in throngs and crowds and nation wide sizes but as a precious handful who trust in me + enjoy my writing. And I am always glad to have written something that they found helpful. I tried making the numbers a measure for my success but that seemed like a standard that I had no control over + would never be satisfied with. Fear would then take over the narrative and tell me how that meant i was a failure. It took me a while but I began to question it. 

“Really? Is that so?” 

And that is all that’s needed to defuse fear. A repeated mantra of “Really, is that so?” The trouble starts for us when we begin to believe everything our mind ever tells us. Including fear stories. It will weave elaborate, detailed fear stories that have little basis in reality and prove to be a great exercise for the imagination. Alas, they prove to be of little help when the time comes for us to act. Digging down and questioning if the story is even true creates this little space where we can see the thought as separate from ourselves that comes with a choice- to believe or not to believe in it. 

Fear, I know, won’t go away. I’ll come up with a new goal and fear will seize the opportunity to choke it to death even before I plant it’s seed in the soil. Fear will always be here. But something else can be there, too. 

My choice. Of whether I allow fear to get the better of me or not. My decision. Of whether I allow my actions to be influenced by this feeling of fear (which ebbs and flows like the waves). My intention: to create and grow. With these as my guide for the creative journey, I cannot help but feel excited. And just a little more invincible and possible. 

Fear, you can come along. But you ain’t rollin’ this show no more.  You ain’t my lover no more. 

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