Fear and Loathing in…my head.

by P. Braithwaite

There is a fear; always this persistent fear that if I yield too much or give too much or share too much…If I am too much…I will be ruined.

 So I hide. I hide behind sarcasm; I hide behind aloofness, silence, and the past. I extend a pinky instead of a hand. I am always half-out, and always half present. I give only what I believe I can spare. I am never completely naked.

I think I love freely, but I don’t.

There is this fear. Always this persistent fear that if I give everything, I’ll have nothing in return. If I stretch, I will have nothing left for myself.

In my meditation, I’ve become enamored with cycle of the breath: the moment where the inhale and exhale meet. In this moment, or second, the inhale and the exhale are the same. The lungs simultaneously give and receive. There is no fear in this moment, no pride, no ownership. The inhale and the exhale are equals. The giver and the recipient are one.

The body benefits and life continues.

How do we get to this place with another? How do we learn that when we give, we receive and vice versa? When do we abandon the fear? Stop keeping score? When do we learn that there is strength in both actions? When will I learn that both actions are the same?

There is this fear. Always this persistent fear that I’ll never get it right, that I’ll give without getting, and exhale without an inhale. I’ll keep waiting for a breath that never comes.

God help me to understand that love, like breathing, is involuntary and that no matter what happens, if I am alive…I will always, eventually, catch my breath.

And so it is.