It’s time for us to leave that safe nest in which we’ve healed, and facing that reality is causing fears and darkness to percolate from the dust of the temporary calm. Terrible, stultifying fears— things that terrify and leave my heart raw and vulnerable. I tell myself I’m brave, and that’s usually true; even when it’s not, I pick myself up anyway. But these… these are different.

These are the fears that run through my brain like black horses on a moonless night, leaving reflective crescents of blood in their wake. These fears I don’t speak of, even in hushed whispers, for fear of waking their restless sleep, causing ears to perk in the inky night from a called name. They snort and huff to life, pawing the soft ground, muscles tensing, ready to run. pleasegodno

Ignoring such power does nothing. Ignoring such ferocious need only forces it into distorted and warped curves, starved for light and acknowledgment. Crumbed in the corner watching them stir to life and stretch, I am never so powerless. When I fight them, try and slam the doors shut on their lithe, dark muscles and the electricity pulsing through them…I fail. The trick is treading tenderly, carefully, and with love; it’s counterintuitive but it’s the only truth. There is power in the darkness of fear; harnessing it, taming it, loving it for what it is is the great alchemy.

Counting and naming fears shine a ray of light into the darkness. If I can name something, see it, even if only peripherally like the Pleiades before dawn, it becomes both more and less at once. A fear named loses some of its terrifying power, and begins the transformation into an integrated, acknowledged and loved part of your soul. Without exception, my fears are a stable of things of which I lack understanding.

Mine have names that have frightened humanity since we clicked the garden gate closed behind us. By far the largest, deepest prints in the stable belong to the finely shod hooves of Trust. Trust is followed closely by Doubt, and the two of them can make short work of my heart and mind, leaving me with webs of tears drying on my cheeks and struggling to remember how to breathe. It’s not that I don’t have good reason to feel that way- I surely do- it’s that I forget why they are there.

I have the keys to the stable. Trust and Doubt earned their place, but I forget I need not saddle-up and tear across the soft fields of my new life each time one of them wants to be let out. I am the rider— I hold the reins, even when I’m terrified— if I manage to remember, over the thick, distorting pound of my heart when I hear the restless pawing, perhaps can finally free us. Trust and Doubt, allowed to serve, not cripple, letting the tension and power exchange damning pain with inherent strength.

Perhpas… pleasegodplease… let me trust and not doubt.

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