Thursday, 4 September 2008
HAIKU NOODLE: Perhaps this is what courage is supposed to be.
Always so afraid,
I thought myself a coward.
(But no one else knew).
Fear is a big part of my life. Anxiety, panic attacks, nightmares, phobias - the lot. And also the not-so-dramatically expressed fears that seem to have gone with me wherever I go, ever since childhood.
I've been thinking about fear a lot this year. Been through a lot of stress and nearly had a nervous breakdown. Once, many years ago, my friend Pervin told me how inspired she was by my courage and strength. I've always wondered what she meant. Didn't she know what a coward I was? Couldn't she see how scared I was of life? Apparently not.
I read a quotation a few days ago, "Bravery is being the only one who knows you're afraid". That's what inspired today's haiku. But I do see that courage is not just about hiding one's fear. It's not about being brash, or reckless. It's really about going on in spite of the fear.
I don't think I'm all that courageous, because at times it is so very hard to go on, that I don't just hide my fear, I hide from life too. But I shan't negate that I have survived this far. That is something. I may not do all that I want or hope to do, but I am still here.
Maybe that is enough, maybe that is something worth celebrating. And now I feel that perhaps it is okay - perhaps it is courageous - to let the world know:
I am scared.