Walking Through Fear
I have been afraid a lot lately. No new things I am afraid of really...just the same old ones resurrecting themselves in my life. Fear of being seen, fear of not being seen. Fear of telling the truth, fear of not. I have come to understand that this is just life, an endless march toward the grave, walking always through fear. Towering giant forests of fear, thick with underbrush and swaying canopies always threatening to come crashing down upon me.
I have walked through woods gazing upwards, knowing, believing that at any moment, I might be pummeled. But I have far more often walked beneath the swaying branches, looking skyward and felt love. Felt held. Cared for. Adored even. I know that may seem weird to feel cared for by trees, but I have and if you have ever dared to be present for your life and gone on a long walk in the woods, you might have felt it too.
And that is life. I guess. Sometimes feeling love and sometimes feeling fear. But walking all the same. Each will come for you. Each will bring about another version of you. Each showing you where you are stunted, where you are blossoming. Where new shoots reach upwards toward the heavens...
I have come to believe that it isn’t really walking through fear, it is just life. A trudging, a moving forward with purpose, sometimes feeling loved and cared for and other times feeling like there is not one being alive that really cares much about you at all.
I learned to walk alone in dark woods and remain within myself. Not taken over by the crack of a branch or the turning of winded leaves. I learned that I walked with God, those trees God manifested, and so too am I. I learned that it always a choice, love or fear, and it isn’t really mine to decide which is good or which is bad. It is just who I am in that moment, consumed, temporarily, always temporarily by either.
The trees are unmoved. Unlike me they are rooted in place and unmovable for an afternoon stroll or early morning hike. They are, instead, stalwart giants whose job it is to bear witness to the pain, the joy, the heartbreak, the fear, the misery, the agony, the pain of life being lived in quiet contemplation. This is how we move through the places that scare us, a quiet stepping forward, the path uncertain, uncleared. We walk in faith. We walk in doubt, but we walk. Always being willing to place one foot in front of another, until we reach a place where we find ourselves delivered safely back home.