The Power of Fear


What do we do when those words of others become our own? The words we repeat, as a mantra, when we look at ourselves in the mirror. Even for that split second, when we can no longer bear to see our face staring back at us. Because we have hammered that mantra in our brains.

How do we break the spell of those words? How do we scrub our minds clean of those mantras? How do we dig it out of our hearts, when it is embedded so far in? 

What happens when the opinions other have of us ends up becoming our own? Does it make us weak? Are we too weak-willed? Too pliable? Are we merely just contorting ourselves to survive? 

At what point do we snap and say enough?

Truth is, I have no idea. I don’t begin to have any kind of answer to these questions. I have more questions than answers, and I have spent my life feeling like I am stuck. And what for? I can give you theories about that, but the truth of the matter is, I have no idea why I have allowed myself to stay stuck. 

Because it’s easy? Sure

Because it’s comfortable? Yeah, but not really.

Because it’s what I know? Definitely.

Because I am scared shitless? Yes. 

I am utterly terrified of being my own person. Of being able to stand up for myself and to use my own voice. Because if I do that, I not only have to stand my ground, but I have to be courageous and fight. I have to become a warrior for myself then. When it has become so easy to just lie back and take it. To just keep taking the horrible medicine I give myself for no reason more than to stay docile. To stay in my comfortable fear. 

Fear is a powerful motivator to stay. You can argue that it’s not hard to stay stuck. That it’s easy to not move. That the first step is always the hardest. Yeah, the first step is hard, but so is the second, and the third, and every step after that, because those are steps you have chosen to take towards whatever goal you wanted or needed to achieve. Sobriety, happiness, anything really. 

It’s not easy to stay stuck. It’s a lot of hard, back breaking work to stay in one place. To keep those thoughts at the same place they always have been. Because we will change. We always do. We are constantly evolving. It’s not always in a tangible way. Most of our changes, triumphs and failures are not tangible. We can’t show them off to the world. Most of the time, we may not even be aware of them. It can be something as small as changing our favorite color to something as big as wanting a family. The only constant we truly have is change. 

Yet, we fight it tooth and nail, and for what? 

Because we know it. 

Because fear kicks in. Fear of the unknown keeps us latching onto crappy relationships, and even crappier thoughts. It keeps us drinking that kool-aid, even after we find out it’s poison. I still drink my kool-aid. On a daily basis. I keep those mantras going 24/7. I keep them going through the day, and well into the night. I wonder sometimes if I have always been predisposed to that. To wanting to keep myself feeling like this, because the idea that I could feel better scares me, and the idea that I could end up feeling worse terrifies me. So I stay in purgatory, living in the grey area between the black and the white. Living some kind of half life, if you even want to call it that. There are days where I will not allow myself a break of any kind, and I will not allow myself to write. I keep myself from letting things out. Because I spent my nights talking myself out of those things I know I could have if I just tried a little. Of those things I want some days so badly I can almost taste them. I tell myself I don’t get them. I don’t deserve them. That if I really want them, and to truly be deserving of them, I’d have to change into a completely different person. That I have to become worthy of them. I have to change to become worthy of even entertaining the idea of them. 

Now, tell me that’s not fucked up. 

But that’s the problem. I know how fucked up it is, and I recognize it, but I do jack crap to change it. Because I am scared. That I could work for it, and try for it and it wouldn’t want me in return. So I stay put in my purgatory with my daydreams of what I want, and this is the irritating part, for me, that I see what I need to do, and I see what could be, but I don’t let myself get it. I taunt myself with it. Dangling it in front my face, like a carrot for a donkey, to keep it going, but knowing that  as long as I keep this going, I will never get that carrot. Because I don’t deserve to eat the carrot. 

Could I bow down into child’s pose, but my hands up and surrender to the universe? Sure. 

Do I? Hell no. 

Surrendering to something bigger than fear is something I don’t have the words for, not completely.  I just know that surrendering feels like giving up, and it’s not. I know it’s not, but I have fought so hard and so long to stay in purgatory. That the idea of even giving up an iota of that to something else, taps into those thoughts I get that run rampant. 

What happens if it goes well? I could feel better! Do I even know how to feel good? To truly feel good, and not wait for the other shoe to drop. I feel like when I do feel good, I’ve always got one foot in the door and I’m ready to run when that shoe drops. But the kicker? There is no shoe waiting to drop. I invent that shoe. It’s only present in my mind. 

Then what happens if it doesn’t go well? I could feel even worse! I’m not prepared to be that far gone again. You never are prepared for that level of anything. I’ve been down there once, and refuse to do it again. I can’t do that. I cannot handle it. I don’t know if I could survive that. I feel like the first time just drained me dry. I don’t have the reserves of strength now, that I had then.  

I watched Episode two of Masters of Sex right before I started writing this at 3 am. There was line when Dr. Bill Masters was talking to a teenage patient who had “darkness” in her. After dealing with her situation and realizing that she needed to get some help, she had the courage to say, “I am not my own worst part.” 

Maybe I need to start saying that. Maybe we all do. 

I am not my own worst part. I am not those hurtful words. I am not my fear. I do get that carrot, and I DESERVE it. 

I am not my own worst part. Maybe we’ll try that as a mantra for a while.


The Currency of Love


This will be odd for me to type, but I’m beginning to believe this. So here we go.


Everyone is capable of love.


And I think I just heard my own brain explode from typing that.


Love is a concept I have struggled with, if I’m completely honest, probably my whole life. I mean I knew I loved my mom, my dad and my siblings. I loved my dog. I loved my friends. I loved running around outside and popping tar bubbles on the street during the summer break I loved even more. But I also loved The Simpsons, and my Barbies. I loved Bugs Bunny, I freaking loved Space Jam. Did my love for these inanimate objects make my love for the people any less valid, and the other way round. Does loving so many different people and things spread your ability to love around or are you given a set amount of love and each time you utter the word ‘love’ you take some of your stock pilled love away?


If we only have so much love to give, would we be more cautious with it?


I have been beginning to wonder if love is a kind of currency. Like the Euro, Dollar or Pound. Maybe kindness and compassion are a kind of currency as well. Maybe we create both tangible and intangible things to trade with other human beings so that we can get what we need to survive and to get through this beautiful tangled mess of a thing we call life. Through that we are able to get love. We are able to give and receive love, kindness, support, empathy, sympathy and compassion. Whatever we need in that moment to endure. We are not solitary creatures, but I do wonder if this is something that evolved right along with us as we crawled out of the primordial soup, grew legs and learned how to walk upright. That as we became more evolved and complex our currency did too. That our concept of love may have been just giving each other food and warmth to survive to the complex dating rituals we have now. Even having a family can seem to be complex and overwhelming at times. The rules we have to obey and the currencies that may not be accepted within certain circles or by certain people.


Love is a currency. Sometimes not accessible. Not accepted. Accepted by everyone, everywhere. Accepted by a few, or by many. Accepted by only one. Accepted by non. Love is a type of currency we trade, we share, we gift, we receive, we crave, we need, we want.

Love is what can make us better. It can help us, it can hinder us, but in the end, it makes us better. We learn from it, we forget from it. We become sane with it. We become insane with it. Love is not simple. It is not just saying the words and then you’ve given it to someone or something. It is in everything we do. Our words, our actions, our thoughts, our vibrations, our chakras, our prayers, our meditations, our books, our magazines, our yards, our homes, our families, our blood, our tears, our sweat, our souls. It is in everything.  Maybe it’s even in our DNA.


Does that make it easy to understand?


Hell no.


I don’t even begin to understand that currency. How I can fully trade someone my love for theirs. I can give a lot of in my version of the currency, but the full trade of here is my heart, forever and ever, I have no idea how that currency works. I think that’s like the stock market. You can watch the stocks get traded and see what goes up and what goes down. What has had good history of return of investment and what has a questionable history.


We play with our hearts like trading stocks on Wall Street. We gamble with them like we’re in Vegas. Sometimes we get a good hand and manage to play it just right and end up winning big, and we know when to walk away with our big return. Sometimes we bet it all on a crappy hand and walk away with nothing, feeling empty inside. Sometimes we keep trying to win big with not to great hands and mediocre stocks that will never be capable of giving us what we need.


Sometimes we win big in a foreign currency. We get the jackpot with someone we know is capable of love, but we miss the mark with it. Because we get that love in a currency we can’t use. It doesn’t compute. It can never really align with what we need, or even want. Does that mean we should throw it away because we can’t use it? I can’t answer that. It’s so dependent on the person and the situation. There is no black and white, all or nothing with love. It’s just a big messy grey area that has so many shades of both black and white on top of it.


When we win big with a foreign currency, we have the ability to adapt ourselves to accept it. Especially when it comes from someone who we have craved love from. The problem with this is that we can sometimes be selling ourselves short. That we were so desperate for the love from that one person that we would accept it and bend over backwards when we got some version of currency regardless of our ability to use it.


So yes, love is a currency that everyone is capable of producing and trading. But it doesn’t always mean it’s a good thing or that it’s a beneficial thing either. It is what it is. Messy and complicated.



Photo Credit: (Tofu Photography –