[#Reverb11] On Passion and Fear

At the end of last year, I took part in the #reverb10 challenge and got a lot out of it. Ever since, they’ve been sending monthly #reverb11 prompts, which always make me think, but which I haven’t yet taken advantage of actually responding to via the written word. Today, though, I’m feeling reflective, so I’m going to take advantage of my forum here because, well, writers write.

If you participated in Reverb10 during December of last year, are any of the things you wanted to manifest in 2011 revealing themselves?

In short, yes, but not necessarily the things I expected. (Funny how that works, innit?) It has been a rather frustrating year on the writing front so far, but I feel like I’ve experienced other aspects of life more fully than I have in a long time.  And the most important and wonderful thing I’ve learned is this:

In this life, we can live and act in fear or in passion. Fear looks like safety because it numbs us from the potential of pain — but it’s not a localized anesthetic, and so we give up the experience of exultant joy, too.  Passion, on the other hand, is dangerous.  It is filled with risk.  Every sensation is heightened.  In one moment it can feel as if your heart is being forcibly torn from your chest, and in the next it seems like it might swell to such magnitude that your body can barely contain it.  Passion is never safe, and it is always intense.

I wasn’t entirely sure I was capable of living with such intensity anymore, but it turns out the heart is incredibly resilient if we can find the courage to give it the opportunity.  If I learn nothing else all year, I am grateful I’ve been able to discover this.

5 thoughts on “[#Reverb11] On Passion and Fear

  1. Fear is like a very slow acting poison. Speaking from experience, it dulls creativity and destroys your ambitions leaving you a sad, empty shell of your former self. Trying to move on once it has taken hold can be the scariest thing in the world.

    Personally, I let fear of my family cripple me. First it was fear of their ridicule. Then, when tragedy struck, it was fear of abandoning them. It’s a never-ending struggle between not wanting them to feel I’m walking away from them and wanting to live my own life. As a result, I’d given up all of my dreams. I never went to college, never pursued my dream of being a wildlife photographer and stopped dating because, to be honest, I hated myself too much to let anyone get close to me.

    Thankfully there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. No matter how bad the fear gets, there is always a choice you get to make. It might mean the thing you fear most comes to pass, but it’s just a thing. You can’t please everyone or always make the safe choice. And you’ll find that the rewards can sometimes make it all worth it.

    • You’re exactly right. No matter how long we live in fear, all it takes is one choice to get out of it. Truth is, fear never really goes away. It’s a sign that you’re about to embark on something that will make you FEEL, except you have no control over exactly what you’re going to be feeling. And the leap of faith isn’t that it’ll turn out in what you imagine is the “right” or “best” way; it’s that you’ll survive whatever happens — and that there will be value in the experience no matter what.

  2. I have befriended fear ~ it is one of the most valuable teachers I have, actually. So often I mistook spiritual guidance to say “Fear = bad” and now I have learned “Fear simply is” while passion is being fully alive and immersed in the moment.

    Loved reading your continued Reverbing. Look forward to knowing you better!

    • I like your perspective. I think we get the idea sometimes that we can eliminate fear, which obviously isn’t the case. The key is to acknowledge it and move past it rather than letting it drive behavior. As they say, courage isn’t the absence of fear but rather moving forward in spite of it — because the potential gain is worth the risk.

  3. I had a very similar revelation last year.

    On the wall at my workspace, along with pictures of my daughters and a couple of inside jokes, is a note I gave myself:

    WRITE FEARLESSLY. Change the mistakes later.

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