Courage is not the absence of fear; it is the conquest of it.
I wonder why I am always seeking refuge.
Remember as kids, we would throw a blanket over an upright card table and crawl under, awarding us the illusory sense of security of a cave? That simple shroud was a child’s version of escape. Hiding under it held some warm, secure meaning then. Demons at that age are no more less or real then those that stalk us now. When what is perceived as pursuing you is not tactile, cannot be physically thwarted, it seems to grow exponentially in size, its presence unchecked by reality, its capability of destruction boundless.
Most people shed that abject fear, somewhere along life’s journey, ideally before adulthood. Any combination of confidence, self-worth, inner-security, or merely being surrounded by trusted people who love you would probably do the trick.
Then there are us folks who allow fear to ride along throughout our life like an emotional Remora, clinging innocently to our carefully crafted carapace. Most of the time we are unaware of its presence. Then it finds an opening
Once inside, the potential for damage is everywhere, and the opportunity for escape vanishes. It sets up house, rearranges the furniture, hangs the requisite oil paintings of Lucifer, and sits like an evil toad, blinking into the darkness of your soul, tongue coiling and recoiling…waiting.
What is the toad waiting for? It’s entrenched, buried within the lining of its victim like a flea on a Terrier. Is that not enough?
What the toad feeds on is vulnerability. A common human emotion, one everyone encounters from time to time. But it passes through the people who aren’t home to the toad. It is temporary.
When the toad devours vulnerability, it is then absorbed into the soul, and much harder to eradicate. It becomes simply another piece of furniture. It’s permanence, its ponderance that of a heavy oak hutch that never gets moved for dusting.
We never become immune to the presence of the toad. There is resignation, and some vague rallying of the troops in a vain yet impracticable effort to avoid the ever moving tongue.
Vulnerability becomes a housemate, much like the toad.
And the longing for the card table and the blanket continues till we die.