Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive — the risk to be alive and express what we really are. -Don Miguel Ruiz
I landed in Seattle this week, terrified. The runway was wet from rain and the sound of raindrops on the tarmac echoed the pounding of blood in my ears. My biggest fear is fear itself, and there it was all around me, pulling me in. I couldn’t escape the enemy; instead, I offered myself freely.
As I roamed the city looking for an apartment, looking for something that seemed familiar, I could feel my frusteration mounting within. What is wrong with you, I asked myself. Pull it together. But I couldn’t. Instead, I kept slipping further and further toward panic.
A close family friend died this week. He was still too young to die. I grieve for him but more so for his wife and children and anyone else who loved him. Many people are afraid of dying; I am afraid of losing. I said a prayer for him as I visited the sound and watched the boats coming and going, and the beautiful mountains large above the city.
Most of the time I am able to hide from my fears. I escape them mostly through pushing my body, from being outdoors, and spending time with those I love. But somewhere underneath they are always lurking. Fear of being alone. Fear of failure. Fear of the unknown. Sometimes I face my fears and win. I’m always suprised what I learn about myself in those moments. Other times I face my fears and lose.
This time I lost. I got back on the plane feeling thoroughly beaten and broken. But when I got back to Pheonix the sun was out. My parents greeted me at my apartment. We went for a hike and the air was fresh and the light was bright. My lungs burned and it felt good. If I was standing out on a precipice before, I had managed to move back from the edge again to safety.
I was reminded that no matter where I move, I won’t be alone. I have people that love me feircly, and I love them feircly in return. They will catch me if I fall and they will also remind me that I am more capable than I know. They will force me to face my fears and to take chances. In the end, I will be a better person for it.
Thank you all. For now, the sun is shining brightly.