For those of you who read this column regularly, you know that I write and speak from a deeply personal place. It is my sincerest wish that I can translate the lessons that I have been given in my life into a medium that can help you. At least, that’s the plan. I often make an example out myself unintentionally. Recently, in my day job, I rescued a cat that had been stuck in a wood pile for several days. The little creature repaid my kindness by nearly biting through my finger. After ten days of guy-wrenching antibiotics, the lesson to the men on my team: Don’t be like me; wear thicker gloves. (The cat’s doing fine, by the way, and has found a forever home… )
And other times, I’ll share here a particular struggle in which I find myself. Lately, I’ve found myself in a Battle Royale with my own fear. More specifically, with a deeply rooted fear of intimacy and of trust with another human being. I’ve been standing on the precipice of something great and truly amazing – the chance for an exceptional life. And yet, I can’t dive in. I can’t accept what’s in front of me. Of course, this relies on the participation of a partner and the trust that I will be loved and cared for unconditionally. But therein lies the rub, I suppose. I can’t accept that even on the outside chance this ends up hurting like hell, in the meantime, it will be extraordinary and well worth the gamble. For you regular readers, you know that I preach that Fear is the opposite of Love. In Fear there is no Love, and in Love there is no Fear. Only the ones who have stood here on the edge before know that making this one particular leap is the most terrifying thing that you can ever do – that proverbial “Leap of Faith.”
Upon finding myself in this dilemma, I did what (I’m sure) everyone does: I came home, poured myself a glass of chianti and cried my eyes out. I sobbed and begged for guidance: What do I DO? What CAN I do? Why the fuck am I so petrified? As I sat there in a state of abject pain, The Voice broke through. It’s message: “Love, anyway.” Well, I have to say that that stopped me cold. The Voice was right, of course (as always… it’s so smug sometimes…). What else is there to do but love? What other answer is there? If I didn’t want to be scared anymore, isn’t the most obvious answer to just love what I was scared of?
I don’t have to tell you that this is easier said than done. You probably also won’t be surprised that I haven’t made my leap of faith yet – gosh, I’m being so human. But I’m getting closer. And when I finally close my eyes and jump, I know that I will be safe.