Thank You, Fear, For The Opportunity To Choose Love.
I lie — to myself, to the wild woman, the wise woman — often enough to hurt my potential growth.
I bask in false light when really I am imminent darkness, those places people run from, avoid. I am the Dark Goddess ever reaching deeper, grudging the light for trying to blind me from my rage, from my fears, so that I cannot face them.
I am bombarded unwillingly with inspirational phrases that leech away at my true creativity, hooking me with their false-happiness-giving prompts. If I am being honest, I would wish to see phrases like Stop believing everything is fine, you’re faking it. Have I become this ingenuous?
My true creative self feels sorry for me deep down in the marrows of my existence, because she watches me run away over and over again from my own potential awakening, taking the form and the face of fear.
But I’m still a child who checks under the bed for monsters. Instead, I find the Dark Goddess there. She begs me to look her square in the eyes, but I cower and scream: “Please, no! I am not ready for this!”
Every time I hide, the darkness grows ever larger, beckoning me with gifts of enlightenment, to go deep, searching fearlessly into my own soul, but the risk of drowning is too much for my slender body to uphold. Another lie, always a lie, I keep running, hiding from the dark Goddess, but she will not stay silent for long.
She will rip you open until nothing is left of you, like she has done to me many times, until you’re on your knees begging to be set free, begging to have even a sliver of a glimpse of light and she will shout: “No!”
Because you aren’t ready for it. You will cry hard, like I have many times, while lying in bed wondering how you got here, how everything got this way, this torn apart, this shredded bits and pieces of light and darkness that you have become.
I know this because I have been unwillingly ripped down into the underworld a handful of times, dragged down screaming and kicking, and this time Persephone looks at me dead in the eyes, with a piercing fire, allowing me to make the decision to come or not.
She curls her finger, asking me to come with her, her lips stained with the redness of the seeds that she ate from that sacred, dreaded pomegranate. She asks me to come so that I can set myself free once and for all.
To put together all gathered bones from my inner desert, and let go of all this fear and anger, to let it all go with love and burn the pile of bones away.
Isn’t that just it? To let go with love? Let go of what ails you, what haunts you in your dreams? Because of love? Why can’t we die and be reborn in fear? No, we can’t learn that way. Love is a glow, a tear of ocean water, where Goddess is born. We must be born again in love, the letting go is the death.
I have been stumbling for so long, fearful of life, afraid to live, afraid to die. Afraid of loss, afraid of grief, afraid of sickness, afraid of imagined non-existent scenarios. My, what a life I have weaved — walking along ungrateful to the marrow of my bones, for life.
Unaware for so long, asleep to the fact that life is itself the big death that offers such great rebirth.
I am afraid to live, because I could die. Persephone died because she chose to live. Tired of a life with her mother, she chose to live, and became Queen of the underworld. Life is so dark when you live it in constant fear, instead of living it with love.
Isn’t love so much easier? Isn’t it possible that letting go of fear could be so much simpler? Have I not given myself enough credit? Fearing life has been killing me for a long time. Life is hard, but fear makes it so much harder.
Living while enduring loss is a death, living while you are full of fear is a death, living while what’s around you is dying is a death, letting go and living in love is birth.
Life gives us so many experiences — some bad, some good, some so amazing that we are overcome with immense joy, while some are so awful that we can’t remember what living looks like, how to speak or walk, we become so overcome with grief and darkness.
At one time or other, that darkness was just too much for me. I was lost in the underworld, with no road map or relief in sight, until finally I was spit out the other end barely able to catch my breath. The underworld, the Dark Goddess, demands that we come willingly into her realm.
I have come willingly this time. I didn’t need a ritual. She was just there, saying, “It’s time.”
And I cried. And I heard myself talking out loud. And I answered my own question.
I want to live in love. I know it’s a practice, one that will constantly be checking my resolve and willpower, but I am determined to live in love, to choose love over fear in every moment. It is a choice I have every second of every day, it is a choice I have right now.
I can always fight back and choose love, and thank fear for the opportunity it presents to choose love and see love in all that affects me. I can choose compassion, which means to be with suffering. What greater love is there than love with compassion, than love that knows suffering?
I am so tired of running from the grip of the Dark Goddess, of Persephone with her outstretched hand offering me her pomegranate seeds. I am the Queen of the Underworld, of my inner world, where I am with my suffering, I have compassion for my suffering, for your suffering, I choose love over fear.
Hannah Heslop is a mother, a certified energy and Reiki healer, a student of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and a writer of the Divine Feminine. She is a lover of crystals, deep dark poetry, and coffee.