Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Battle Hymn of the Fear Monger

Dear Buried Self,

I know it reminds you of those magic slate paper savers you drew on over and over as a little girl. Your red plastic stylus pen created hundreds of sunny day tableaus with billowy grey clouds on that opaque plastic film--only to annul their existences with an abrupt lift of the sheet.

Images that were gone from plain view--but leaving permanent records of crude hard lines on that slate's black underside.

Those images never really vanish, even in their seemingly undetectable and dissociative guises.

Your fears are so much like that, too. Somewhere along the way, certain experiences froze the terror inside of you and left you unable to breathe.
Breathing is permission to live. Breathing reminds you to feel.
Instead, you carry all that suspended, unresolved terror while gaslighting yourself that maybe it vanished.

But gaslighting can only stretch so far.

Sometimes you just avoid--with good reason--opening the overstuffed, messy closet door of your mind.

Defending your fear is all you know, all you do, all you think.  No matter how many times you lift that film to neatly exile the memory, it still bleeds through that blank page.

And stains everything you do--regardless of how hard you try otherwise.

Haven't you yet realized that the sources of your most primal fear somehow got ensnared in some lacy, netted web--skillfully tatted with knots from both the past and the present?

And here you are--still ready to dodge all those unfired bullets.  An unreal reality.

You stuck your hands in fear's pockets when you witnessed your children ascend on the ski lift. 
You swaddle yourself in it with every unanswered text.
You nuzzle in it every time you say goodbye.
You even drape it over you when the phone rings at an ungodly hour. 

Why is it that you always expect the worst? 

Most recently, you enrobed yourself in your deepest fears during a routine, just-ruling-it-out MRI.  Despite Valium, Reiki, acupuncture and an open-air machine, you let fear fill you to the brim, even allowing it to pick out the pair of shoes for your final appearance. 

Fear meticulously ties your blindfold and leads you directly to the waiting room of the worst case scenario, where you anxiously sweat it out for hours.  Red hysteria sits in the chair right next to you and belts out the lyrics of your life's over-played torch songs, summoning the rhythmless battle hymn of the fear mongers:

Flutter those wings, baby!
  "Flutura" by Sophia Webster.
What if?  I just can't.  I'm afraid.  It's too hard.  I can't.  I won't.  Why?  

That perennial thick coating of GOD FORBID is so unbecoming.

Instead of basking in the glorious present, you still have moments where you choose to tango with the turmoil. 

Aren't you tired of the clumsy dances to Fear's off-key cadences?

Rising and falling--waxing and waning--to the fading echo of what no longer exists.

All that subversive terror and bottle-necked terror have burglarized your happiness--ripping you off of the glittering jewels of the here and now.

Disentangle.  Breathe.  Reclaim your present moment and create that tableau that you would never want to erase from your magic slate ever again.

You have certainly survived the worst, which is all behind you now.

The here awaits your hand for the next dance.

Expect the very best.

With love,