a daring conversation with Courage + Fear (poem)

What does it mean to commit, truly? What does it mean to fully commit to Life?

What does it mean to commit, and what are we so afraid of? Why are we so afraid of Life?

Questions, Questions, Questions. Sometimes it seems that all I have these days are Questions. There are more Questions than I know what to do with, and yet the Answers seem nowhere to be found. What am I doing and where am I going? Why am I so afraid to commit? What will I find on the other side if I decide to take this step?

Most often our Fears are
Small beings with good lighting:
They’ve learned if they stand in just the right spot,
They can cast massive shadows on our walls.

A fear of commitment is
A fear of failure
A fear of rejection
A fear of all that is uncertain +
All that we do not know

For when you commit, the outcome is never guaranteed. You don’t know where this path of yours will take you, Fear whispers, so why would you risk it at all?

Courage speaks with a different voice, a deeper voice
Softer, yet more commanding
Humble yet self-assured

You will never know until you try

But what if you die in the pursuit?
Fear asks, then what? What is the point
To begin with?

Which voice do you choose to believe in more?
Your shadows or your light?

Sometimes I feel as though I am watching a ping pong match and I don’t know which team I am cheering for. Fear says it wants to keep me safe, but Courage knows nothing is certain. In the end, maybe Fear just doesn’t like Change. Change asks that we walk a path we haven’t seen before, and Fear cowers before such challenges, clinging to the past for reassurance of how things will always be.

But I am learning Fear is wrong, most of the time.

Perhaps there are different flavors of Fear, for I know there is the Fear we should listen to. When you are walking down dark alleyways at night, Fear can keep you safe – but only so long as it walks with Courage at its side.

Then there is the Fear that is whiney
The Fear that cowers before
Anything it doesn’t Know;
If you listen too long to this Fear,
It will only keep you small.

I don’t want to live a small life.

I want to go places I haven’t seen and live life out loud with my whole being. I want to love + dream + dance beneath the moonlight, drink in the depths of the inky black skies of night and fall asleep beneath stars so plentiful, I can’t even fathom counting them all.

I want to dream and live boldly, to love with my whole soul.

I tell Courage of my dreams in the moments my Fear is preoccupied, and he smiles though his eyes are somber. I will help you, if this is what you want, but the path may not always be easy, Courage holds my gaze and captures my fingers in his hand. I cannot promise you it will always work out the way you first intend, but I can promise you this: for the Brave Ones, Life is like climbing a mountain. Their skin scrapes against the rocks, their muscles grow tired and achy as they build their strength, and the way may not always be clear – but every time they stop long enough to look out over the landscape around them, each time they reach a new peak, the view is always, always worth the trek.

Then he smiles more deeply, I cannot promise this path will always work out the way you want it to, but I can promise you’ll always be in good company. I’ll never leave you.

I nod, but it’s impossible to know what I am getting myself into. And what of my Fears? I ask, Where will they go?

They may come with you, and in some moments, they will be louder than others. The most important thing is that you trust yourself, first, Courage places a hand on my chest. This space has all the guidance you will ever need if you truly listen.

An original poem by Maia Thom.

If enjoyed this poem and are curious to explore the healing power of words for yourself, I am offering a Word Weaving session on Saturday, January 30 via ZOOM. I guide you through a visual meditation followed by a series of prompts to inspire some intuitive writing. You can find out more and save your spot here.

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