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fear is a liar

Fear is an ugly and demanding master. 

I had to take my poor doggy, Zero, to the vet two days ago. We were sure that it would be a quick and easy fix, and we would be on our way. Initially, they agreed. But, afterward, we left with the problem unresolved, looking much worse than before, with meds in hand, another appointment, and a hope that it would resolve itself at home.

Except, fear had already been spoken. "Maybe, it's not what we think. Maybe, it's worse. Maybe, it's the dreaded C word - cancer." 

I won't lie. I almost lost it right there, in that little examination room. My mind was instantly transported back in time, to a same little room, right down the hall, where we had lost our last dog. No matter what they said, fear had been whispered in my ear, and now it was washing over my mind,  infiltrating my heart, and claiming my future.

Fortunately, the issue actually did resolve itself within a day, and we are moving on.

Last night, I needed to pick up a few items at Wal-Mart. Before we even made it inside, I saw a man wearing a Confederate flag on his hat. I had already read an article about another woman's Wal-Mart experience. And while I lend very little credence to social media "news", it was on my mind. As we made our way around the store, I felt more fear and unease rising within me, until I mentioned to my daughter that I was afraid. "Why?" was her question and I had no real answer. Nothing had happened. I saw hat man twice more and he was more concerned with rummaging through the discount movie bin than with the many people of various shades of color that were around the store. They were shopping. He was shopping. We were all just shopping. But my mind was going back in time, to other instances, other experiences of people like this man. Racism has always been a part of this town, a part of my life. Fear is rampant, in my news feed, my friend's words, news outlets. Fear was being whispered in my ear, and now it was washing over my mind,  infiltrating my heart, and claiming my future.

I left there, ashamed at how I was looking at people, judging them from their outward appearance. I was just as guilty of discrimination as I called into question his supposed intentions. Love is my heart, my language of choice, and I had still left fear have the louder voice, twice now in two days.

I don't know about you, but I can't live like that. Wondering. Waiting. Assuming. Fearing. In both of these instances, nothing had happened. nothing. And yet, fear, fed by my own past experiences, had jumped in the driver's seat. It ripped the wheel from my capable hands and had me veering uncontrollably towards the edge of reason. I can't allow the detrimental effects of fear and worry to control me, to insert its ugliness into me, like a knife tipped in poison, spreading its irrational trepidation like a disease throughout my body. I will not allow it that kind of control. I will not allow my past to paralyze me from fully living my now. I will not allow it to jeopardize my future. 

I am in control. Me. my thoughts, my words, my actions, my identity. I am a brave and victorious woman. I have overcome blatant racism, sexual assault, and domestic violence. and I'll be damned if I'll let what any person did to me yesterday effect my today!


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