Thank you, fear.
In the humdrum world of
busy roads and hot cooking pots,
You have stepped in to protect me
when I was lost in my thoughts.
You have taken over the helm
every time I was in a storm,
When familiar was disappearing and
strange was the new norm.
You have saved me many times,
you have helped me survive.
I owe you my life.
Believe me, I do not contrive.
Today when the news is full of violence,
horrendous terror is on the ground.
You are taking over my psyche
and are following me like a hound.
But these new wrinkles on my face
are stretching to explore other choices.
My heart is yearning to open
and listen to other voices.
I have a strong urge to play
with empathy and love.
To discover where they might lead me –
self-destruction or a treasure trove.
Trust and generosity,
continue to whisper outside my door.
They just want to be let in,
and converse with me a bit more.
Prudence, on the other hand, cautions me
not to let them drive.
She says, “Why can’t you just use them selectively?
If you give them the wheel, you or ‘your way of life’ may not survive.”
As these raw emotions are stirred,
I quieten down to tune in.
What bubbles up is this: I don’t want you –
‘fear’- to always automatically win.
I want to have the space,
where ‘I’ get to choose.
I need my humanity to prevail, even if
self-preservation, mistakenly, thinks it will lose.
I know this will be hard,
as old patterns will return.
I will run up to you often
to shield me from the heart burn.
But deep down I know
I don’t want to be always afraid.
I want to mindfully respond to life,
not just lash out reactions unweighed.
I hope you understand that
this is nothing personal, my dear.
But on this Thanksgiving day, I choose to say –
No thank you, fear.