Fear is under my skin like St. Anthony’s Fire
–Onion Girl, Holly Cole
I mentioned previously that I live in fear of being alone all the time. This is true. It’s also true that I live in fear of many other things. Fear saturates my life.
This is not necessarily a bad thing. While it may [currently] keep me from making new friends, because there are some hurts I cannot weather, it does not keep me from the life I want to live and love. Rather, it galvanizes me, making me spring into action to keep my fears from becoming real.
Fear of failing as an author translates into the action of making myself better through revision and editing, revision and editing, and receiving feedback from nice people. (Nice people because there’s only so much my fragile ego can take at this point.)
Fear of fucking up my relationship with my boyfriend translates into the action of constantly being on guard against old relationship patterns; the action of doing battle against my ingrained patterns and beliefs that seek to destroy me because of a life full of betrayal and hurt.
Fear of losing my right to personhood because white het cis dudebro politicians believe those with uteruses cannot make our own decisions translates into pro-choice activism and fighting for my future in a country increasingly leaning to the totalitarian wind blowing in from the south.
Fear of damaging myself during various magical acts translates into doing my research and taking some fucking precautions.
Being scared means you still have something to lose.
–Grey’s Anatomy, Episodes 9&10, Season 4
Obviously this doesn’t always work. Fear of the Vashta Nerada/the dark translates into my never sleeping again; fear of clowns translates into my peeing myself during certain movies. Etc.
Also, there comes a point where my fear becomes crippling; bone-terrifying, and I freeze up, unable to do anything because I’m so sure that no matter what choice I make I’ll fuck up. That’s a self-esteem issue, and one that I’m working on.
But by and large being scared can be good. While reciting the Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear can work in the extreme cases, where fear makes one freeze up, I do not believe that fear is always the mind-killer. We evolved to feel fear for good reasons (you should fear certain animals/beings, because they can and will kill you and eat you) and that should not be discounted. And when we feel fear for other reasons — no matter how silly we think those reasons are — we should look frankly at it and accept that those reasons are valid, and then work towards being able to act even with fear.
You can’t eliminate fear. You need to act with it to get things done.