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A Conversation With Fear


Part One,
“The Moment of Fear”

Chapter 1
“Meeting the Moment”

Page 4


meant to lose control, there was no going back. A finality. On the far side of this moment was an impenetrable darkness I could not see beyond. Shadowed in mystery. This was no ordinary moment.

Ten minutes later, I jumped. I said “Yes!” with enough intensity to make it over the wall. Shaky and elated, I crawled out of the water onto the rocks. Then Cece stood on the ledge alone. The three of us looked up, knowing how small we must appear. We yelled. More words. Back and forth, back and forth till finally, she jumped.

We didn’t know it at the time but the ambivalence that Cece and I experienced that day was far more valuable than the ease of jumping freely and unconsciously as we both had before. We had sparked a relationship with that enigmatic moment and had begun to glimpse its nature. How could we know what possibilities it held in store?

The Thrill-Freedom Continuum

We all reside on a continuum in relation to fear. On one extreme are those who want or need some thrill, crave some physical exhilaration. Their lives mirror that of the outward-facing hero who leaves his own city to conquer the dragon and capture a boon to bring back home. They want and choose the challenge of an adventure—somewhat risky, somewhat unpredictable—to bring back into their lives a spark of joy and vitality. Even though they flirt with this measure of thrill, they often want the accompanying fear to be erased. Look at all the other heroes on the quest—they look free and easy, why not me? But once someone is conscious of the push and pull within that moment, fear becomes the flip side of thrill and remains a permanent part of leaving the “home city.”

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