Chase Your Lion

This is from the long ago archives. A sketch I call Persephone

This is from the long ago archives. A sketch I call Persephone

We were talking about fear. I’d suggested that some fears were actual and some imagined. For instance, if a lion were chasing me, fear would be my ally. It would be actual and useful. My fear would possibly save my life. It would make me run faster. On the other hand, if I feared pursuing my dream, of doing what I wanted to do in the world because of what others might think, my fear would be imagined. It would not be useful.

He said, “You don’t understand how afraid I am.”

“How afraid are you?” I asked.

He wrinkled his brow, “How can I answer that? No one can answer that.”

“Well, tell me how big is your fear?” I said. “Give it a size.”

“I can’t do that!”

“Sure you can,” I said.

“How do you quantify fear? How does anyone quantify fear?”

“Oh, quantifying fear is easy.” I said. “You simply count all the things you don’t do because of your fear. Those things are quantifiable. Count all the life experiences that you are willing to lose by holding onto your fear.”

He was silent for a moment. Then asked, “Like what?”

“Most people lose access to their lives. They let go of their dreams. They tell themselves that they don’t know how or that they were not meant to do what they want to do. How much life are you willing to miss by telling yourself the story that you are afraid? Count the days, the moments, that you stop yourself. Those moments are actual. Those days are quantifiable.”

He was angry, so I added, “Dreams are not lions.”

 

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