What Are You Afraid Of?

As I write, I’ve been battling a migraine for five days.  Pragmatics indicate an exam by a licensed medical professional.  The pain has made me too tired to put up with a doctor’s crap.

Memory takes me back 22 months to the start of a headache that lasted several weeks.  Fear grips me.


Then another memory comes into focus.

And another.

And another.

I fear nothing.

I’ve lived a good deal of my life bound by fear.  Of whatever.  Once the fear is installed, it can borrow objects.  Once one is removed, another can take its place.  Seamlessly.

It’s not the object.  It’s the feeling.


Like hard liquor or Candy Crush.

It’s a chemical in the brain.

I’ve been a pretty fearful person.

One day, I got a call that changed everything.  The standard for the worst that could happen changed.  Statistically, it was unlikely to happen twice.  And then.  Everyone survived.

I stopped obsessing about impressing.

The “four-second rule” turned into the “three-minute rule”.

I fought for “truth-in-love” honesty.  I was spectacularly clumsy and awkward.


Permanently. Irrevocably.



Truthful and loving?  Yes.



Because it was “Get it all out there and it will be messy and disorganized, and we’ll sort through it.”

In my religion, people don’t do it that way.

It feels weird.

But. You know Maggie.

We all lived.  I became fantastically in love with it.  Jesus.  People.  The process.

Totally unafraid.

You may be afraid of snakes or clowns or public speaking.  Or, maybe you deeply fear something much more complex.

Listen to me now, while I am still sitting up.

The worst that can happen already has.  And we survived.

Go ahead.  Join the circus.  Get that basket and play the recorder.  Preach that sermon.

Ask that princess, who is so obviously out of your league, to the ball.

Offer your friendship, full and free, to someone incredibly cool.

The worst that can happen?

Is none of your business.

Grab onto what scares you, now.

Throw your head back.

And laugh.






  1. Best line I’ve read in ages: The worst that can happen already has. And we survived.

    That is so true it’s ridiculous.

    I’ve learned some of the very things we’re petrified of aren’t all that bad once we do grab on. It’s never as bad as it seems it would be.

    (Sorry about the migraine…sheer misery there. Take care of yourself.)

  2. I agree with Carrie. That is the best line ever. I’m going to share this post with my LTYM peeps. We needed this. Totally needed it.

  3. I’m so glad Jennifer shared this! I’m basically afraid of everything. I love this.

  4. BOOM! You remind me of my word for the year, “Brave”. I think I am doing a pretty good job of it. But some fears are harder to conquer than I thought. Love you words here… thank you.

I love it when you sass me. Please leave a comment.

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