June 21, 2017 by Patrick Starks
How did I get here? —To this place of uncertainty. What promises wait for me as I sit at the tip of this towering cliff. Am I afraid? Am I concerned? It would be no surprise—I have been these things all my life. I guess fear has never really left my side.
Fear… Are you there? I want to ask you something.
The woman heard nothing, only silence was given.
Are you my friend or my foe? These are the things I wish to know. There have been many times you’ve taught me useful lessons, but there have also been times you’ve taught me useless ones. I want to know why—why me? Was I not a good child growing up? Why does it seem that all good comes to the wicked and never the righteous? Am I already in hell? And if so, I ask you again—why me?
Can’t I be more?… I feel I can, I think so. It was you after all Fear that showed me this—showed me that no matter where I am in life, that there is still much growth bestowed within me. But… how do I know this isn’t another one of your failing test? How do I know what waits around the corner won’t be another disappointment? I guess the real question is… should I even care?
As I stare down this cliff of possibilities—I can see the world, such a beautiful sight it is, but can they see me? Do they care to see me? It seems no one ever looks up anymore—up in to the clouds of grace or into each other’s eyes. Tell me Fear… Is it that they’re just afraid as I? Their heads pierce downwards, but they do not see what I see, only their feet do they vision— as their tears drop into the hands of nature’s sand. What must we do to get of this rut? What must we do to be brave? Fear… I ask you again, are you my friend or are you my foe?
The woman then heard a silent voice from within.
“I am your friend, but also your foe. Only you have the power to change what I become—what you know.”
“How? I mean… I just don’t understand you sometimes, why are you even a part of me if you’re not here to help?”
“And that’s exactly would you’ve gotten all wrong. I am here to help, but because of your uncontrolled emotions, you let whatever lessons I teach get the best of you. For your own sake, you must become stronger or else I will have no other choice but to destroy you—destroy your soul.”
“But why? Why destroy me? Why destroy my soul?”
“Because I am Fear, my only responsibility is to test—to test the strength of humanity, and witness who makes it in this life and the next.”
The woman grew weary of Fears intentions. Felt it would be a problem that needed to be resolved as soon as possible—it was her life after all.
“What do mean in this life and the next? Are you saying after its all said done, when we all pass away, there will still be more test?”
“Yes, I am afraid so. Although, hard to afraid, I am Fear.” Fear chuckled, but remained serious.
“Well, what of the ones who don’t make it? What happens to them? Do… do you kill them?”
“Not at all, that is the job of Time. Again, I am Fear, and I only seek to unfold the true power of human existence. If you all cannot survive amongst each other or within yourselves, then what purpose of you being here? —being on earth. If you have no purpose, I will destroy you—I will destroy your soul.”
The woman paused again. She started to realize that maybe Fear spoke only the truth. That maybe everyone on the planet were connected in some way and that the test wasn’t for them as individuals, but as a whole—a test for their existence.
“Then what am I? What the hell am I to you then? Because from our talk it seems you’re more likely to be my foe.”
“You are you, as you have always been. You are stronger than most, even when you were a child—the others have felt this to. “
“Others… what others?” The woman asked.
“The other ones that also call themselves Fear.”
The woman became distraught. She did not realize that there was more than the one that spoke from within her. She then stood up as she paced back and forward for a breather—she pondered on what was to come next.
“Did you really believe that I alone went around to each person in the world trying to dig out their strengths?” Asked Fear.
The woman responded. “Um… yeah, I guess.”
“Come on, I’m not Santa Clause. That’s literally impossible. Not even the gods themselves could pull off such a marathon.”
“I guess you’re right. So then, what next?”
“That is up for you to decide. Are you ready to face the world?”
“I… I don’t know. I guess so.”
“And that is why I will remain your foe. If you cannot face the world, you can never face me.”
“But aren’t you what I should face first? Aren’t you the one that holds me back? —that test me.”
“No, not exactly. The fears you face, will also be the fears of others. There is where you true test lies. Their fears will test your will.”
The woman looked over the cliff one last time as she gazed through its cozy mist. She realized that the fear she had within was not to be her foe after all— that maybe she should trust it, lord only knew what other hell waited down below. Her courage began to bubble deep in her soul, bringing out a sparkle in her eye that she had once when she was a child. The woman felt ready, determined.
“I understand now… but why their fears? Why do I face others fears?”
“Sometimes the fears of others become their friends, just as I will be for you—however, that does not mean they are always good friends.”
“What do you mean?”
“Like I said, some will become friends, but not one of good. Some Fears will do anything necessary to keep their owner safe, to keep them above the rest—even if that means breaking down the people around them spiritually.”
“How, how do they do that?”
(Sigh), “Anyone ever tell you, you ask a lot of questions.”
The woman grew impatient, annoyed. “Just answer the question.”
“I cannot.” Said Fear.
“Why not? Are we not friends now?”
“Yes, yes we are, for now. But somethings can only be taught through experience. This is something you must face alone, but I will be here to guide you always, as I am designed to do.”
The woman said nothing, only tried her best to find reasoning, understanding.
“Do you see it now? Do you see why I test you? Why I wish for you to be strong? —stronger.
“Yes, although, this is a lot to grasp all in one day.”
“True, but this is only a fraction of what is still to be learned. I will ask you again. Are you ready… are you ready to face the world?”
The woman hesitated, but then yelled as her voice echoed the mountains. “Yes!”
Fear was not impressed, he searched deeper, he wanted to feel her heart jump from her chest.
“No, no, no, that was not good enough. Say it like you mean it, let the world hear your purpose!”
The woman then screamed, this time from the top of her lungs. “I’m ready! I’m ready to face you world! Here me now! I may fall, I may crawl, but none will ever stop me from ever standing tall!”
Fear was impressed, shocked. It had not seen this side of the woman since she was just a little one. The woman now had purpose.
“And that is why I am your friend. Not to toot my own horn, but you do see what I just did there.”
“Yeah, yeah. Don’t get cocky.”
“Oh, never that, only confident will I be.”
The woman then climbed down the cliff fearless. She had now found her purpose, why she was here. All that she thought of was what other test Fear would give her next. In confidence, she did not worry for that she knew that it would bring her only to the next chapter of her life. Once she reached the bottom, she pursued the world in front. After a couple of years, she became a world renowned leader. She taught many people how to face their fears—teaching them that their fears are their friends, that together they could give purpose in the life they lived.
The woman felt she had learned all she could, and that she was well on her way to changing the world in vision of peace. However, there was one thing Fear did not tell her about—Time.