How’s your summer so far? Monsoon is well underway in my area, as are daily flood and lightning warnings. A reporter interviewing a member of a family of self-proclaimed “lightning people”, in this case almost everyone in the family has been struck by lightning at least once, elicited a rather bold declaration from the member with regard to her latest strike:
What you fear most is what you attract.
Not such a powerful statement if your greatest fear is running out of chocolate chip cookies. You’d likely survive a snack attack. But can you really attract one? Sure, I could annoy a dog enough to earn myself an angry bite, but how could you attract a speaking engagement if you’re terrified of public speaking? If I found myself accompanied by a spider in a darkened elevator stuck between the highest floors of a skyscraper, could I have unwittingly appealed to the odds of fate? Or do things we can’t predict just happen sometimes? Like, lightning strikes… and falling stars.
Some of us are afraid of the unknown. As for me, I’m more curious than afraid. I think this quote sums it up fairly well: “We do not have a fear of the unknown. What we fear is giving up the known.” Indeed.
It is with that thought in mind that I offer the following music video as a tribute to our dear friend, “Mrs. Mildew”; mentor, confidant, and co-commiserate on subjects ranging from books to cat food. Her recent passing has left a scar and a lasting memory.
Every writer fears rejection. Yet, therein lays the motivation to move on, muddle through.
There is freedom waiting for you
on the breezes of the sky,
and you ask “What if I fall?”
Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?
~ J. M. Barrie
5 thoughts on “What You Fear Most”
Hello, dIEDRE ~
I didn’t / don’t know who “Mrs. Mildew” was, but I’m sorry about your loss.
That was a beautiful song! I’ve heard of Casting Crowns before, but I think this may have been the first time I’ve heard one of their songs. That was a far more impressive and moving song than I could have imagined coming from a contemporary Christian band. I may need to check out more of their recordings.
So, the subject is fear, is it? F.E.A.R. = “False Evidence Appearing Real”. I didn’t invent that definition, but I like it a lot.
Below is a poem(?) I wrote when I was 24 years old (1984) and I was still known by at least one good friend as Mr. Intense. A lot of this I can no longer relate to and endorse, but it was certainly a fair assessment of how I thought and felt all those decades ago in my youth. The title might actually be the best part of it:
FIRST EXORCISM OF THE NEW YEAR
When? When will he let go?
When will he let go of the fear that strangles him day and night?
That choking denial of oxygen.
The personal attack upon himself…
An assault of anger, then sadness, then
When will he let go of this fear of fear?
Of his shameful thoughtz of self-importance
And shameless lack of self-consideration?
Let him GROW older, lean on the faith he pretends to have
And trust that his every action, every thought,
Good or bad, right or wrong…
God, when will he stop his downward horror-stricken stare
And leave the diving board with a frightened yet exulted leap
Into the uncertainty of sky and water?
And know that it is Divine wisdom and superior thought
To DO instead of think?
Let him learn to live for the moment and die
For the past.
Laugh or cry spontaneously and without any measure of regret —
The beautiful purity of mind triggering emotion.
And, God, help him to close the door on that stifling, degenerate doubt.
Help him pry loose his fingers from his throat
To fill his lungs with the crisp pleasure of renewed life.
When will he let go?
When will he KNOW those things that he presently believes
And realize that success is not the path to Heaven
Nor failure the path to Hell?
Let him attempt to fly with a desire and need
And should he plummet to death
Let it be because he could not fly
Not because the THOUGHT he couldn’t.
When? When will he do what he must?
When will he?
STMcC Presents BATTLE OF THE BANDS
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POSTSCRIPT: Oops! * “…he THOUGHT he couldn’t.”
Hi there, Stephen!
Or should I say “Mr. Intense?” 😉 Your poems are really something, you know. Such depth interspersed with patches of sky-blue hope…would that we all could see things that way. Thank you for sharing! “The beautiful purity of mind triggering emotion” love that line.
“Mrs. Mildew” was a fictional detective my dear friend Molly McKinney created for one of her many witty mystery stories. Molly’s passing was harder on me than it might have been had I not pulled up in front of her house to see it draped in yellow tape as the county animal control folks loaded up her cats. I hadn’t heard from her in a week, you see…
I had never heard of Casting Crowns or “Scars in Heaven” before. But I admit, I was looking for something soothing for me and a tribute for Molly.
Here’s riddle: Is an old hundred dollar bill better than a new one? Well, it’s worth 99 more dollars…;-)
See you at BOTB!
Like you, I’m more curious than afraid. The things that scare me are usually temporary. God’s reassurance always calms the fears. Your song choice for Mrs. Mildew is lovely and I love your quote. I’m sorry for the loss of your friend. May she now soar with the angels. Thanks for voting in my BOTB. You’re welcome to join the Monday’s Music Moves Me party anytime you have tunes to share. Have a blessed day!
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Thank you for your kind words, Cathy. I’ve peeked at your Monday’s Music parties and always found them engaging. Picture me running alongside a train with an open boxcar door in sight 😉