“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
2015 was a sucky year (then again, 2014 wasn’t much fun). In looking back over the past year(s), I realized that it wasn’t the events themselves that were horrible (although almost losing my daughter and my husband wasn’t anything to celebrate), but what they did to me.
I went from being a fairly confident, mostly optimistic suburban soccer mom who was able to juggle marriage, motherhood, career and outside interests with some degree of success, to a weepy woman who could barely handle getting up and getting dressed (which reminds me-why don’t they have pajama days at work?). Oh, I managed to come up with multiple excuses for “stepping back” from activities I had previously enjoyed – soccer, reading, writing, stand-up comedy, lighting design and playing chauffer to the teen. I blamed age, fatigue, increased stress at work, my bad knee – but when I took a hard look at my life, I realized that there was only one thing stopping me. FEAR.
Fear is like the abusive boyfriend who compliments you on your outfit, then asks if you have a skirt that’s “not as short/tight” or tells you that your makeup is “a little overdone”. Eventually you second guess everything you do/say/wear and run it by the boyfriend for his approval. Fear convinced me that the things that had happened were somehow my fault – that if I had spent more time at home, or less time doing things that I enjoyed, everyone would be better off. Fear whispered in my ear, telling me that there weren’t enough hours in the day for a “woman of your age” to do EVERYTHING, that even Wonder Woman deserves a break, that it would be better if I just came home and zoned out in front of the television.
After the second time that my husband almost died, I realized that Fear had lied to me. Stepping back from the things I loved hadn’t kept my husband safe. If Fear lied about that, what other lies was he telling?
The best part of having my husband almost die was that I was lifted up by people who loved us. I was lifted high enough to see a glimmer of hope, and Hope sends Fear running.
Once he started running, I saw Fear for what he is – a liar and a cheat. It was then that I remembered my favorite acronym.
Run you bastard, run