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.


3 thoughts on “Mantra”

  1. I’m not sure “Fuck the Fear” works for me. For me, the anger and opposition I feel from that phrase makes the fear more real by feeding energy (negative energy, of course, but energy none the less) into it. I don’t know if he was the first to say it, but Neale Donald Walsh (or God, however you want to read it) said in “Conversations with God,” “What we resist persists.” For me the solution to fear comes in the akido concept of simply stepping aside and letting the attacker, the fear, move past without resistance. I have found through much experience that the fear that I think I need to push against, to defend myself from, simply disappears when I remind myself that it is not real.

    A better example may be those situations where someone tries to start an argument and expects to meet resistance, which will, in turn, feed back into and increase her attack, and instead meets nothing but thin air. It’s amazing how quickly the negative energy dissipates without harm when that happens, when there simply is nothing to resist or argue against. In a way, I suppose those experiences simply illustrate the truth of the concept that it takes two to argue (or was that tango? oh, well, whichever). When the other simply isn’t there, in reality or simply metaphorically, to argue with, the “fight” usually leaves pretty quickly from the person who attempted to initiate the confrontation. Your friend TBB’s response to the woman who clocked her in the bar is a perfect example of the power of the unexpected lack of resistance to transform the meaning of a situation.

    I’m afraid I’m not being very articulate tonight but it’s late and it’s the best I can do for now, which is good enough for me.


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