Abby, in a comment here, says that “Fuck The Fear” doesn’t seem to work as a mantra for her.
“What we resist persists,” she offers, and suggests that stepping aside in a kind of akido is the best choice.
She is correct, of course. We need to deal gracefully and wisely with what we fear.
To me, though, I don’t think “Fuck What I Fear.” That would be wrong and misguided, because it externalizes the fear as something others do to me, places fear in the objects and people and situations, rather than locating the fear where it lives, inside of me.
It isn’t the fears of others that keep me small. It is my own fear.
For me, it is that fight inside against my own fear that is the most difficult, the fight against the habits and internalized oppression that keeps me small. It is fear itself that I fear, not something external to me but rather something deep inside. Why my fear comes up I self-sabotage, self-destruct, self-cripple, self-destroy.
My fear is a palpable presence to me, a presence that is made holy by the expression of self-sacrifice, the notion that surrendering to that fear is doing something good and valuable for the people I love. They have the right and benefit not to have to engage my own complexity, my own queerness, my own demons, so I have the obligation to use my fear as a limiting and destructive force to attack myself.
Stepping aside myself, well, that’s very hard. The enemy within is the persistent companion, the sapper inside, the one who eats my own strength and possibility.
I don’t need to avoid myself, I need to transcend myself.
I don’t need to fuck what I fear; what I fear isn’t real. I don’t fear actual people and actual situations, rather I imagine people and situations that would hurt me and use that imagination to cut myself to ribbons.
No, what I fear isn’t the problem, at least for me. It is fear itself that is the problem, fear itself that keeps me crippled.
I feel like what I want is affirmation of my strength and power and grace, affirmation of my power of attraction & connection, affirmation of me as beautiful & lovely.
That’s a good thing, of course. We all need as much positive support as possible, encouragement and empowerment.
But as long as I take those affirmations and expose them to the acid bath of my fears, well, then no amount of positive support will sustain me, no amount of positive support will lift me up and ennoble me. Those affirmations will be crumbled to dust by my own fears, my own expectations of failure, sadness and separation.
No, “Fuck What I Fear” is a bad mantra, an opening to act out against ghosts we externalize.
“Fuck The Fear,” on the other hand, well, that’s my crude and limited attempt to transcend what is killing me, to fight what keeps me small and crippled: my internalized fears.
My fear attacks me under the guise of self-discipline and appropriateness, even if it is my ego attempting to avoid pain and avoid calling, and in the process denying me connection, light and affirmation.
But now, as I feel my parents heading back, that ego plays hard, cranking the fear levels up, calling for self-sacrifice so that I have the tools to dismember myself again and place myself back in the tiny box of denial for the good of others.
My real good comes from boldly being who my mother in the sky made me to be.
And if I know that, well, then, I have to fight whatever restrains me from being that woman.
What constrains me? The fear my ego delivers.
And that fear?
Well, I have to fuck it, somehow, so I can get over it.
When I get over my own fears, I can deftly and gracefully handle the fears of others because they don’t stimulate my own fears, don’t trigger my own acting out, which for me, now, is attacking myself.
My fears are the biggest danger to me, not the fears of others, and my fears are the only fears I have the responsibility of removing to live in love. All I can directly change in this world are my choices and the feelings & thoughts that lead me to make them.
Those fears are my enemy, those fears are the echoes of years of stigma and challenge that others offered to keep me small. They aren’t real, they are my fears.
Fuck ’em. Or die.