“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.”
I don’t care if you like Frank Herbert or hate his work: The above quote just proves the man was an absolutely genius (not to mention the fact that his work made it possible for the Sci Fi channel to have Edward Atterton almost naked on their version of “Children of Dune”).
I have lived my life in fear. Fear has wrapped around me, covered me, been the air I have breathed, the food I have eaten, the water I have drank. It has haunted my dreams. It has tinted everything about me and has been the soul of my life.
A few nights ago, I was stuck on a short story I was writing. Frustrated, I finally said, “Fuck it,” and went for a long drive, hoping that the music blaring on the stereo would disrupt my thought processes enough to reset them and I would be able to see what was holding me back on finishing the story.
Instead, I saw what was holding me back in my life from being truly happy.
I drove so far that I came to the connection on the highway to Route 66, and I was so surprised to be that far out that I texted a friend to tell him. Seeing that sign reminded me that I have always wanted to start at one point of that historical highway and drive the entire thing from start to finish. It was then that my bad bullshit started rising up in my mind as to why I could not take this trip that I have dreamed of doing for years. All the reasons why it’s a bad idea, why I should not venture so far from home, how much work it would take to actually take the damn trip.
And a memory of a conversation with a dear friend the previous weekend took over in my mind, his words almost a blast of knowledge, sense, truth and reality: “It’s bullshit. I do not care what has led up to it, but it is bullshit and you need to stop it NOW!”
My fear is bullshit. I can see the pattern leading to the fear, and what experiences and heartaches have caused that fear. While it is understandable, it is only acceptable for so long.
I have held back in fear and lost out on friends, lovers, life experiences. The most devastating result of this is that I have not truly lived. And I am finished with just existing, just breathing and just going through the motions. This time in my life, this crossroads I am standing at leads either to a life filled with passion and joy and laughter or a life half-lived, supported by blandness and half breaths.
There will be set backs, and the fear will start creeping up on me again. But I will be damned if I’m going to let it cloak me and blind me once more.
It is time for me to truly start living as I was meant to live: Balls to the wall, full throttle, and laughing my ass off the whole way.
And I will.
Peace, love, and belly laughs,