Over the years, I have often searched for a mantra to replace the stock phrases that often jump to my mind, phrases that aren’t really encouraging or inspiriring.

For example, I spent some time trying “Live And Learn.”  It’s a good motto, helping me understand that I did the best I could then and when I know better I can do better, reminding me that a miracle is a change in perception, that growth is the purpose I am here.

A good motto, yes, but less than inspiring.  It never really caught on with my heart.

But in the last couple of days I have been working with a motto that isn’t just well based in theological thinking, but a motto that also has quite a bit of emotional resonance and satisfaction.

Fuck The Fear.

I know Susan Jeffers’ 1986 “Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway.”  It’s a classic, true.

But somehow, it never really resonated with me.  Too nice, too prissy, too cerebral.

I also know, though, the brave and bold transwomen I admired, the ones who just got out there and danced their own dance, sang their own song, lived their own life.

I was imagining a tape I could play of these queens, confident in their own beauty & power, that would help me retrieve my center when I lost it.   I tried to think about what they would tell me about living in your own spotlight, about being the grace God gave you.

And I realized the key message: Fuck The Fear.

Too many of these women are gone, victims of AIDS and other challenges.  To me, though, they burned brightly enough to live on in my memory, to be vibrant and present even after their bodies are gone.

They embodied two of the key lessons of queer life: What The Fuck! and Fuck You!  They boldly went where no man had gone, and when they got crap designed to stigmatize and scare them, to spank them into submission to the norms, they answered in the negative.

They lived their own lives, claimed their own power and owned their own beauty.

And they did it with a simple motto: Fuck The Fear.

Fuck The Fear. Fuck The Fear. Fuck The Fear.

I love gender.  I love convention.  I love nuance.  I love working together.

But I am assured that while prudence and grace may be required for all those things, fear isn’t.

Fuck The Fear.

One of the easiest ways I know to make people crazy is to challenge their fears, the ones they use to comfort themselves that they are doing the best they can in a scary, scary world.

These people mostly externalize their fears, assuming that it’s the objects that stimulate their fears that are the problem.  Those freaky people, those rich people, those crazy people, those heathen people, whatever. (I call them objects because it isn’t the individual humans that they fear, it is the classes of humans, objectified and dehumanized into demons.  Those People!)

Because I know this, I often try to play small and hide so as to not get them all fearful.

When I do that, though, what I am doing is respecting their fear.  And when that fear is respected, it becomes real, not just fear.

Fuck The Fear.

The only way we can ever feel powerful in our lives is if we feel empowered to face our fears and make change.   As long as fear is real, our fear or the fears of people around us, we cannot feel our own power.

Fuck The Fear.

A motto that resonates with me, that helps me center, stand up straight and feel confident in my own power and beauty.

Fuck The Fear.

Fuck your fears of me, fuck my fears of you.   Fuck all the fears that keep us stooped and small, fuck all the fears that keep us powerless and pained.

Fuck The Fear.

I don’t know how this is going to wear, but right now, with Spring banging on the door, it feels good.

Fuck the fear and follow the love.