Why are you afraid?

Breathe. In and ouut.

What do you fear? Rejection, humiliation? Are these things not worse than death? Wouldn’t you in the moment rather die than endure through humiliation, rejection? But endure you must. Humiliation passes, God has blessed us with a short memory. Rejection’s sting lasts until the next smile or heartfelt greeting. Wait, calmly, do not be afraid.

“They will think I am a fool, they will ask questions, I will have nothing to say, I don’t know what to expect, how should I dress, how should I talk, what if my face does that weird thing it does when I am not quite sure what emotion to fake, what if they laugh at me, what if I start crying, I won’t know what to say, I’ll be so anxious and I will look a fool, everyone will hate me, they will expect things of me I can’t provide and then be angry when I don’t provide them, I have no experience with a situation like this, I don’t know, I can’t speak, I can’t think, please, help…”

Be humiliated and endure, and live. Humiliation is better than death.

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Prude

Sex. Even the word disturbs you slightly. You don’t know why, you can rationalise backwards, devise neat little psychological theories about your childhood. But there is something that cuts through those stories and tells another.

Because you are as prudish about God as you are about sex. You feel as uncomfortable attempting to pray as you do thinking about uniting with your lover. Prudishness is the same, one and other. It is the same as Adam and Eve in the garden, you realise you are naked.

Standing vulnerable before God, standing vulnerable before your lover – how different are they really? But how much more vulnerable do you find yourself before God than before your beloved? How much more hushed the tones as you strain to speak.

Oh for a crowd to hide in, or to run like a child behind the legs of your mother, holding tightly to her hand and peeking through the gaps of her fingers, as if no-one could see you there.

Even for all that, you don’t really want to be alone… why else would you be peeking?