A Note for Times of Fear

In recent days, I have walked closely with my fear.

Don’t get up, it whispers. Don’t write. Don’t work. Don’t bother. What’s the point? Sit this one out.

My fear has a hundred different names: cynicism, despair, apathy, pessimism, panic. And it writes itself across my body – heavy footfall, tight-lipped smile, slumped back. Maybe I’ll just turn away from everything today, I think.

In the past, I have fought the fear, which doesn’t work. Or I have given in to it, which doesn’t feel good.

But these days, I just let myself have it. I call it by its name – I see you, fear – and then slowly, with all the compassion I can get my hands on, I go about my business of getting up, writing, working, bothering.

And what I am trying to show myself, what I know to be true but easily overlook, is that we can have fear without letting fear have us. Because, I tell myself again, again, again, no matter how big the fear, we are made of more than just that.

So, see the fear, turn towards our kindness. See the fear, turn towards our curiosity. See the fear, turn towards our generosity, creativity, conviction, or just the fact that we’re still breathing.

This doesn’t come easily. Fear’s a big, loud piece of me. But it was not and never will be the only piece of me. Of you. Of any of us.

In other words:

Let’s have our fear. And not be had by it. And let’s turn again, again, again to the other things we are made of.

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