List of Fears, A Day (Part II)

List of Fears, A Day:

1. The first fear of the day comes when I wake up. It is the fear of the cold outside of my covers. The fear of so much potential, for good and for bad, and of my own control over it. I turn my alarm off with an arm and quickly tuck it back under the covers. I pull them up over my neck and nestle down further into the warmth, the dark, the oblivion.

2. I awake again. The second fear of the day jostles me quickly into the restroom, scrambling for a change of clothes along the way. I would rather return to bed but the second fear of the day presses me onward: the fear of a wasted life. The fear of time passing, of waking up at the end of life and finding goals unaccomplished, dreams unfulfilled. The fear of leaving nothing important behind, of being wasted space.

3. In the midst of this a question forms, the third fear of the day. The fear of running the wrong direction. The fear that one of three things is true: that the things I pursue are impossible to accomplish, that I am incompetent to accomplish them, or that they were never worth accomplishing in the first place.

4. The question of direction evokes the fourth fear of the day. The fear of choice: of choices made, and choices to come. The fear that my choices are my own, and that they may be wrong, and that they may be irrevocable. The anxiety of what has been and what is to come. The fear that Providence may yet allow for individual autonomy, and that I am a poor steward of mine.

5. A solace may be found in reason, but reason often fails to satisfy the unquiet of the heart. In true relational intimacy between friends, family, spouses, solace may be found. But on occasion, when sought, arises the fifth fear of the day. The fear of not understanding others nor being understood oneself, of the uncrossable chasm between self and other. The realization that words spoken are seldom truly heard for what they are, and that in some respect, one is indeed alone.

6. A wordless despair enters the arena, and with it the sixth fear of the day. The fear that the wordlessness will stay. That, perhaps, it is caused by something fundamental about myself or the world around me. That something is broken in me or the other or both. The fear that I, in fact, may have nothing worthy to say at all.

7. As I fall asleep, the last fear of the day. The fear that comes from knowing the next day will be spent wrestling the same fears. The fear of accepting hope despite fear and despair, which means continuing to live, and to fight.

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