Friday, 18 July 2014

Let’s approach the things that scare us

In one of the sessions on the Mindfulness and Poetry retreat we were looking at the things that we are resistant to or the shadow side of things, that we often want to block out or not admit to. At first I found that nothing came to mind, but what came out instead was this poem abut the process of what we were doing.

Let’s approach the things that scare us.
The dark, foreboding Pandora’s box
that sits menacingly blocking the path ahead.
It cannot be avoided or got around.
Having come this far I cannot turn back.
Reluctantly I creep forward.
If each footstep lasted an hour
is there a chance of never reaching it?

The problem is, I think I already know
what is inside.
I think I know the scary forces
that will furiously fly out
once the lid is lifted.
Once opened, can it be shut again?
Will they ever go back inside?

Having come this far I cannot turn back.
Yet I find myself shaking uncontrollably,
tears streaming down my cheeks.
One last effort to avoid the inevitable.
Perhaps it will be cathartic
to release my fears.
Perhaps in the daylight
those giant monsters in my head
will reveal themselves as
feeble, insignificant, tiny.

There is only one way to find out.
Step up, man up, take courage.
It probably won’t be as bad as I predict.
The giant monsters that fill my thoughts
have already ballooned
out of all proportion.
Reality cannot be as bad as this.

I double-check no one is watching.
Revealing my insecurities, doubts
to myself is bad enough,
I wouldn’t want anyone else to see
my failings, my weaknesses,
or recognise me for the charlatan I am.

Step up, man up, take courage.
It cannot be avoided.
The box is ancient and heavy
the lid stiff and unyielding.
It takes some effort to lift.
I realise I have closed my eyes
wish I could close my ears too.

Bravely I lift the lid with two hands.
There is a sigh, a gasp
like air escaping,
yet nothing comes forth
to bowl me over or terrify me.
I look deep into the murky recesses.
A layer of dust covers the base.
I have already faced everything
I fear, or worse, imagined I fear.
The box is empty.

© 12 July 14

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