Friday, March 13, 2015

Road Tripping

on a road trip,
i got fear riding shotgun
he loves me in a twisted way
a codependent dream

or maybe i'm a hostage
giving in to stockholm
we've been out here so long
i think i forget

i have tried hard to lose him
in my rearview mirror,
but somehow he is always back in my ride

he tells me he is only looking out for my safety
but it feels more like bondage
suffocating and tight

one thing's for certain,
when i start looking
out there,
and that hopeful longing
comes across my face,
i feel him slide over
his coolness beside me
his hand on my neck
like a shadow of death

fear begets fear
i am weak and complacent
but if i cuddle up close
i feel he might disappear

i hesitate there
but the tug keeps on coming
a strong pull of knowing
liberation is near

i whisper

"fear i see you
i know you
i even love you
i am sorry i have kept you
all this time chained to me"

i stop
door opens
true understanding

 i whisper again

"now go on and be free"

This poem is about my personal relationship with fear.  I have focused intensely on inner emotional and spiritual healing and growth for many years now, and a fundamental part of this has been meeting fear over and over again. I have often become frustrated, wondering why fear keeps clinging to me, why, no matter how I try to process and release it, the next thing I know there it is again, riding shotgun.

I have slowly come to understand that I am in relationship with fear, and as much as I feel that it is fear that won't leave me, it is I who stay with fear. This pattern runs deep. Fear serves a purpose, it is a protector, a shelter, and I realize that I find a comfort on some level with that. I am fear dependent. I bring fear with me, it is a familiar place to hide, a friend that has always been there. Fear has never abandoned me, ever.

 I must point out that, in this poem, I am addressing a particular aspect of fear that I experience. This is the fear that keeps me small, that tells me not to show myself because I will get hurt. This is fear that keeps me from growing. There are other aspects of fear that are essential helpers, and have saved me on many occasions, from dangerous situations and even from myself.

I can only surmise that if I have this kind of experience with fear of this nature, others probably do as well. I am learning that the way to deal with this fear is to look in its eyes with love and compassion. Fear is a dimension of my self, and if I hate and despise it, I hate and despise a part of me. If I exile fear and ignore what it needs from me, it can not be healed and we remain chained together.

I try to become aware when I am operating or reacting from fear, and instead of recoiling or shrinking away, I allow myself to feel it, to go into it, to have my freak out. I can then apply breath, tell myself that it is okay to feel this way, and in opening to the feeling with compassion, it can begin to flow through instead of staying stuck within.

Everything that exists within us longs to move towards love and freedom, and we are the only ones who can create that, by choosing vulnerability and trusting our loving hearts to lead the way.

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