My dearest Fear,
Won’t you sit beside me, like a dear old friend? Can we share decades of experience, and catch up on old times? Can we hold hands and forgive our past transgressions?
The truth is, my friend, I’ve long ago forgotten that you were just that. A friend. When I rejected you to the dark corners of my mind, I rejected a piece of myself. And since then, I’ve walked this Earth whole, looking for happiness in all the places where you weren’t, in hopes that it would complete me. Yet it did not. It kept me unfulfilled, searching for healers, writers, teachers, and gurus who could show me the way to eternal bliss. And they all pointed to within, pointing their fingers back at my heart. And I didn’t understand. So I kept searching and seeking for joy and purpose outside of myself, deeply flung into the marrow of the world. I had hoped that the happiness I sought was out there, among the throes of people and adventure. I left home so many times to find myself, and I always came back with something missing. I meditated and I moved; I wrote and I danced; I smiled and I embraced every new day with the promise of a new, fresh start. And every day, I pushed you away. Deeper and further still, I shrouded your presence under the darkest cloak I could find. And off I would go yet again, in search of myself.
It took many lonesome nights, my friend, until I remembered you. In the dark of my bedroom in that first ground-floor apartment, in a meditation, I was invited to seek you out. I scoured every thought and memory, every corner left to silence, until I saw you there – hunched over, broken down and beaten. The hardest part was meeting your gaze, for it would mean that I would come to terms with the rejection that I had placed upon you. And when you did lift your gaze to meet mine, I saw everyone and everything that had ever hurt me. But instead of feeling anger, I simply felt you. I felt what it was like to show the quietest emotion of them all: acceptance. Even in the darkness, you were exactly who you were meant to be: Fear. You didn’t pretend; you didn’t wish you were someone else; you didn’t run off into the world to seek out your lost pieces, because you were never lost. You were just waiting for me.
Sweet, sweet Fear. In the midst of abandonment, you never left. You waited and you sat patiently, until I searched every city and mountain for myself, only realizing when I met your gaze that the final piece of me was you. Right beside Love, in the nook of my heart center, you sat and waited; you held hands with the lightness that I never thought you deserved. This whole time, you were part of my healing. The yin to the yang, the darkness to the light, the moon to the sun; you were the other half of me.
And that night in meditation, on the floor of my bedroom, I took you by the hand and I looked into your eyes, and I welcomed you back. And since then, I have never been more complete. Even in the pain that sometimes comes with growing older and wiser; in the traumas and triggers that still make themselves known in my relationships, I am whole. I am messy, sensitive, raw, and wildly open to this life. And it’s because of you. I know now what the gurus meant.
The entire world rests within me, friend. And it’s been here all along. You’re helping me see that, and you’re standing witness to my transformation. Like a moth to a butterfly, you’re giving me wings. Like Santiago walking the world, I come home now and know that I have arrived.
I used to think that darkness was my enemy; that it was bringing me down, and away from the potential that I had as a human being. But I know now, my dear friend, that the darkness was my moon. When the sun settled, the moon would show me the way in a different light. And when I was too blind to see, it would point its finger towards my heart and ask me to simply trust and believe. The path forward in my life is full of shades of darkness. And for the first time, I am blindly dancing between the stars.
To our forever union, sweet Fear,