Dear Fear,

I’m onto you, my friend. You’re being cornered and there’s no escape, but you can relax. I’m not coming to kill you. I’m coming to know you. To love you. Because that’s what you’re really asking for, isn’t it? You’re just too terrified to ask for it straight up, to look me in the eyes and say, “Will you love me?” That’s what scares you most. All your nightmares, just so many ways of avoiding that one simple question. There’s no more avoiding it now, Fear. You’ve been coming for me all this time, but now, I’m coming for you.

Surely you knew it couldn’t last forever. Unwatched, you were a god, almost. Your atoms were thoughts, and you built invisible worlds so convincing I swore I could see them, swore I was living in them. When they dissolved around me, as they always did, you were nowhere to be found, so I never saw that it was you who’d done it. But I’m seeing now, Fear. I see what you’ve done. I see how you’ve done it. And for what? All because you couldn’t ask me that one simple question. Why did you wait? Were you afraid I’d say no?

Your most masterful move was convincing me that you lived somewhere outside. The boogeyman was in somebody else, plotting somewhere else, and I had to protect myself from him, put on my armor. And I did. But of course, the boogeyman is you, and you are inside me, and in sealing myself off I just sealed you in. Which is good, because now you can’t escape, and I am coming for you. How does that make you feel? Afraid, you say. But what if that’s not quite it? What if that thumping in the chest isn’t fear at all, but a thundering relief at the inevitability of your own dissolution? You can tell me it’s fear all you want. I will not believe you. I won’t believe anything you say anymore, my dear, not a single thing.

Here is what I see now: the objects you use to frighten me are not, in fact, you, and so constantly battling the endless stream of boogeymen you project yourself onto is pointless, if the point is to be free. Destroying the boogeymen will not stop you. It’ll do nothing to eradicate the belief that the boogeymen are frightening. They aren’t. They are who they are, and I am who I am, and you are who you are, Fear. You will always find something to fear, and if you can’t find something to fear you’ll make something up, and if that doesn’t work, you’ll just fear yourself. Focusing on the boogeymen is a dead end, you see? Trying to understand them won’t help. Trying to love them won’t help either. The work is to understand you, and to love you, because you are the creator of all boogeymen. If you are understood and loved, there is nothing to be afraid of.

I hear you now: “But there’s a whole world to be afraid of! You might get hurt! You might be deceived! You might die!” My friend, there is nothing you can do to save me from dying. I already am, ever so slowly, and I will get hurt along the way. That is inevitable. I’ll be deceived, too, and you have no way of preventing that. So rest yourself. Relax. You’re powerless, and you’re only causing harm by pretending not to be. Because it hurts to fear, Fear. You hurt. And you lie, too, all the time, which is why I am coming for you. Because I know it doesn’t feel good to lie, and it doesn’t feel good to hurt either. You, too, are suffering, you see?

I hear you asking to be loved, and I know the one who’s supposed to do it. It’s me. I was born to do it, Fear. I was born to love you.

I’m going to love you slow and sure. Fear me all you want, I’m not going anywhere. I will keep loving you no matter how much you rant and rave. I will love you even when you deceive me, and when you hurt me, too. I will love you, Fear, no matter what. I already do.

Yours truly,

Me

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