We are all clouds. Amorphous entities of energy encapsulated in slowly and continually transforming human vessels. Fear is a cloud of energy, too, although its shapeshifting is more dramatic. It can appear as anxiety, or as anger, or as hate. It can manifest as a physical feeling. A sensation in our chest. A tightening in our gut, shoulders or jaw. It can be emotion made real. And it is a closed door.
It makes our world smaller. It closes off opportunity. Reduces the chance to fulfil our potential. Keeps people separate from their goals, their chances, and each other. When we hold on to the black dove of fear, we prevent ourselves from exploring our world, from stepping forward, from realising our true selves. And it manifests out there, in the real world, too.
Fear is the wall the separates the Israelis and the Palestinians. It is the travel bans on Muslims, the trade embargoes between nations. It is the competition of military might, of market supremacy, of kill or be killed, of first place or nothing. It is a whip that keeps us behaving as told — wielded by the manipulators in the press, in politics, in the markets, to get us to buy what they want, act as they want, vote as they want.
Fear can lead us to hate the innocent, and love the guilty. It can keep people suffering who just need a hand up. It can define entire populations as business opportunities rather than people. It can lead us to hide from those things that will set us free, cowering behind the walls that cage us.
Fear manifests itself as national borders. As wars and trade embargoes. As front-page headlines and health scares. It wants to keep us hungry, distracted, occupied, so that we don’t break free and discover who we truly are. Fear is a chain that keeps us tethered.
But there is something that can break the chain. Something powerful, yet light as a feather. Something that requires little effort, only focused, directed action.
Courage is the key. The key to unlock the door to all that waits for us. Courage, and action, will bypass any obstacle. Together they can smash the obstacles that fear puts in our way, and the various manifestations that it disguises itself as.
But fear is a devious beast. It would like you to think that courage requires great strength. Strength that is far beyond what you’re capable of, but you’ll never know because you’re afraid. But all that courage asks is that you let go.
That same release as you exhale and you feel your body relax, is the feeling of courage. That same feeling of closing your eyes to the world when you drift off to sleep, is courage. Courage is the most natural thing in the world. It is you in your natural, resting state. Just let go. Fear wants us to think that it has us in a chokehold. But it’s not fear that’s holding on tight, it’s us. All we need to do is release. Let go.
Fear is the black dove that we clasp in our hands. And while we grasp it, we are trapped. All it asks is that we let go. It wants to be set free, and if we can just loosen our grip it will spread its wings and escape, and we will be freed with it.
Fear is the feeling of that bird as it wrestles against our clasped hands.
Loosen your grip. Just a little. And then a little more. It’s quite safe. Let go. This is where freedom lies.
Open the door.