I live with fear as my constant companion. Not the fear of death or impending doom, but fear none the less. I gave up the pursuit of my dreams for fear I could not make a living. I remain in a job that does not bring me joy because of the fear of failing at a new endeavor. And now, I do not follow my bliss, my dream, my passion, because, I am sad to say, I do not know what it is anymore. I have spent so much of my life squashing the desire to follow my passion, that I honestly do not know what I am passionate about any longer.
This fear that is coiled inside me like a sleeping, but ever present dragon, also extends to my desire to find a loving committed relationship. I am afraid to attempt to find love with the person I want because of what others may think. I am afraid to step into the arena of love for fear of being rejected for the “shortcomings” I have heaped on myself. The reel that plays in my head over and over, “you’re too old; you’re too fat!” “You’re too old; you’re too fat! No one would ever love someone like you!” “Don’t approach him, he’s out of your league.” I have said it to myself for so long I believe my own press. And, just as I begin to find some sense of inner peace and hope, that sleep dragon awakens gnashing his teeth and breathing his fire and I am left with the scorched earth of my own fear and self-loathing.
This all sounds terribly depressing, I know. And, I am not writing this so that you’ll feel sorry for me. I am writing this as a life lesson for myself and those that might happen upon this missive. I was once given a book by a very great friend who I have since lost touch. The book was called, “Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway.” It was a self help book from the 80’s. I couldn’t tell you what I learned from it, but I still remember the title. Feel the fear and do it anyway. It reminds me of a great quote by Mark Twain, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the strength to do what is best in the face of it.” I may not have the quote 100% correct, and who knows, I may be giving credit to the wrong person, but the sentiment is what matters. It is ok to feel fear. In all of my spiritual studies, the great practitioners and teachers agree, fear is a part of everyone’s life, even the most enlightened. It is what you do with that fear and how you conquer it.
I for one cannot sit back any longer and let my life go to waste because of fear. I shall be a warrior, I shall battle my inner dragon until I wear the beast down. I may not ever defeat him, but I can lull him back to sleep and conquer him. I will use the flames of the dragon of fear to ignite my passion, what ever it may be. I am a warrior. Will you do battle with me?