The Price of Fear

The stuff I write here, prose, poetry… blogs, it usually bounces around in my head for a while before it gets tapped out on my old laptop. Some of it exists on scraps of paper… on notes in a margin, on little phrases and sentences scrawled on the backs of receipts. I have even emailed myself passages so I wouldn’t lose them.

I can get hung up on an idea or a word or the rhythm of sentences. And fixing it… that is what makes it interesting.

Some of it… a lot of it never gets posted. It stays in some kind of rough draft stage and no matter what I change or add or delete, it never seems to be what I want it to be.

But this one idea that has been bouncing around in different forms for years seemed important enough so that even in its rough state, I should publish it and just leave it the way it is. The topic is just too difficult. And it isn’t some ground breaking, original thought… I’m not the one that came up with it… It just seems important. It goes something like this.

Grief is the price we pay for love. And fear is the price we pay for grief.

I used to be far more fearless and grief has robbed me of this. I had this faith based confidence- that God was not only in control, but that He sort of had my back. It was a good confidence to have… the ability to be bold, to take risks and to know somehow that I was on belay… and that someone with skill had the rope. I could do what I thought was good and know that it would work out. But with Ethan’s death, that sort of dissipated.

I am afraid. I am afraid all the time… and I guess that for was always there, but I counted on it. Anxiety. Dread. Worry… all different kinds of fear. I have a couple of friendships that have suffered… all because I’m afraid. I’m afraid to be alone. I’m afraid to be rejected. I am afraid to be hurt… even those common daily misunderstandings… I don’t want to take risks. I don’t want people to die around me. I don’t want people to be angry. Risks just seem larger… the price too high.

And fear isn’t rational… so as much as I fear being alone, I fear being around people. I fear silence as much as conversation. I fear working. I fear leisure time.

And then there is all these things you do out of anxiety or fear… eat to little or too much. Sleep too little or too much. Do nothing or try to do everything. And so there it is.

So there it is. I’m going to throw it out there… just like this.  I cut a lot out. I cut out stuff about fearlessness and about fear that sounded cliche. I rewrote all of it. I thought that it worked out better shorter and rougher. There was this resolve. About living with fear and reconciling my faith. But that, I cut as well. It doesn’t resolve and I can live with that. I can be happy that this is okay. That the rhythms were okay… And if I thought about fixing and editing it, I would never, ever push publish.


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