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Have you ever been afraid?
What is fear?
Oxford Dictionary defines it as ‘an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm’.

But beyond literal meaning… What is fear?
Fear is what drives everything. It is the gasoline for the machinery of life. Because of fear, wars break out. Famines. Genocides. Racism. Immorality. Fear of power, fear of the lack of it. Fear of failure, fear of being alone, fear of the unknown…
Fear of rejection.
The flame that feeds the fear.
Have you ever been rejected? Do you know the feeling?
That feeling of instant deflation. The way it stings just for a second, just a second, but just enough for your eyes to fill? Like a needle… your skin rejects its entrance and that’s why it hurts when it enters. Resistance. Force. Fear. Fear and rejection. A recipe for pain. The sour taste in the back of your mouth just as you realize you’re about to cry. Just as you’re deciding whether to pretend there’s something in your eye or bolt out of the room, your mouth tastes like you bit into a lemon. Like you just bit down into a frozen lemon – your gums are on fire with cold, your tongue experiencing new levels of bitterness. The way no sugar on Earth could make you feel better, whether physically or psychologically.
Have you ever been rejected?
That pounding in your temples, the stress overload meter in your mind going at a hundred miles an hour, the way you feel, just for a fleeting moment, like you’re about to faint. You know you’ve been rejected. You know it. You might not know it at the minute it happens, but you realize it soon enough. Somehow, your subconscious knows it. It knows, and it doesn’t approve.
Have you ever been rejected?
Whenever you’re in a huge rush to get out the front door, and you realize you forgot something, you run upstairs to look for it. There’s a rhythm in the back of your mind, “Yes, c’mon, find it, hurry, hurry, you’re gonna miss the bus, you’re gonna be late, find it, grab it, find it, you’re gonna be late!” Your footsteps echo in the empty hallways as you run from room to room. Then finally as you realize that you’re not going to find it, you slow your pace. You slump into a chair, maybe the couch, maybe even the floor. You sigh. You release all that tension… but when you breathe in again, there it is, it’s back, and it’s ten times stronger. “FIND IT! YOU CAN’T LEAVE WITHOUT IT!!!” The worst thing about rejection is that you want something more after not being able to have it.
Why do we want more? Isn’t once enough? Are we just naturally masochistic? Evidence sure enjoys pointing a finger towards that theory.
Have you ever been rejected?
Have you ever stood in front of someone you care about, and despite all your instincts, throwing all your pride and dignity out the window, apologized to them?
Have you ever done that and then have them spit in your face?
Metaphorically, of course. Well, sometimes literally, and that just sucks, but metaphorically is almost as horrible.
Can you imagine how Hitler must have felt realizing he’d failed? How Mussolini felt? Napoleon? Stalin? Devoting their whole lives to something and having it taken away in a split second. Throwing all bias and prejudice for what they attempted to do aside, having devoted your life to one goal is no small feat. No matter the goal, whether tiny or big, no matter the content, whether good or bad, having that pulled out from under you like a magic carpet that’s been recalled because of a malfunctioning gearshift… it would feel absolutely horrible. Absolutely paralyzing. Involuntary waterworks are sure to have commenced.
Can you imagine how Princess Diana must have felt…? Lying in the ruins of that car, breathless, drenched in her own blood, wondering why no one was calling for help… and then realizing that no one would. Realizing that people were more interested in getting a picture than an ambulance. And how awful must it have been, in the midst of feeling her own heart’s rhythm as the blood slid from her body in sync, to have the sudden realization that no one was coming. No one would save her. To realize that she would die. How much strength of character would it take for her to still retain any faith in humanity after that realization? How would it feel to have been rejected life itself?
Have you ever been rejected?

Have you ever been afraid?
Have you ever thought to yourself, “I can’t”?
The way your body seizes, as if some unseen lockdown had been initiated. The way fear grips you in its calloused hands… Its overworked palms rough against your skin, wrapping around your entire being the way the night wraps around the sun.
And suddenly, as if the sun had in fact gone out, all the warmth and light in the world is gone. You’re left standing in a never-ending field, like being kidnapped while on vacation in Russia. You’re blindfolded. Handcuffed. Tied up. You are, quite basically said, immobilized. Fear. Fear is a fantastic anesthetic, except… sleep lets you rest. There is no rest from fear. It is in everybody. It is everywhere. It is everyone.
Have you ever been afraid?
You try to take a deep breath and convince yourself to calm down. For a second, just a second, it almost works. But fear wouldn't allow that. Fear wouldn’t even think about thinking about allowing it. No, you could never escape fear. The very idea of such an idea is ludicrous. And so… you are afraid. There is no escaping it. No hiding it. Because where does one hide from fear?
Where does one hide from oneself?
In the darkest, loneliest, deepest, most sacred and haunted place in your soul… you know you can never hide from it. From yourself. From the truth.
Have you ever been afraid?
© Copyright 2011 Lena Lautner (lenalautner at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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