What happens when the thing we fear most comes to pass?
Let me tell you what I think, as I am standing on the other side of fear, looking back across those grim and menacing seas with a grin.
Surely, there will be other “things I fear most” ahead, but in this moment I stand in triumph.
I am standing.
This is what I believe:
When the thing we fear most comes to pass, we do not collapse; rather, we expand.
We fill up the inky shadows fear had made at the boundaries of our lives, and we see them for what they are: opportunity.
When the thing we fear most comes to pass, we f***ing deal with it.
The world does not end.
The sky does not fall.
The tender pieces of our hearts do not scatter and become lost; rather, they fit back together with infinite grace—become mosaics far more beautiful than we could have imagined—imperfect gold-leaf edges tracing a story we did not know we could tell.
When the thing we fear most comes to pass, we find we are stronger than we believed.
It is neither tired trope nor inaccessible fantasy; quite the contrary, when we must face our fear—when we cannot escape it—and we look it in the eye, we see our own reflection.
And that reflection, it is fierce.
That reflection, it is fearless.
Left no choice but confrontation, we step up. No more room for fear. No space for anything but action.
And finally, when the thing we fear most comes to pass, we continue on.
Then the other.
The way is always forward. The path always ahead.
And no, we are not broken.
And no, we are not lost.
It may feel that way for a moment—or a while—but in truth, we are exactly where we are. Nothing more, nothing less.
And as we continue we think to ourselves, Well, that did not destroy me. I am here, and perhaps we find ourselves laughing, asking, What now?
What now indeed.
I answer: everything else.
When the thing we fear most comes to pass, it becomes a part of our story, but it does not halt our progress.
Sometimes, fearlessness is not a choice; it is simply doing what has to be done. Sometimes, we do not face our fears; they face us.
Sometimes, the thing we fear most knocks at our door, and we—we answer.
Author: Toby Israel