The CrossRoads Journal

Greater Than Fear

She was stuck. I knew it, she knew it, and neither of us could find a way to move her out of it.  She had overcome self-harm and was now 2 1/2 years clean from cutting. The healthiest relationship she’d been in to date resulted in her moving out of her parents’ home. She was developing close friendships, yet she wanted more – to work, go to school, pursue a career.  She tried attending classes at community college but had panic attacks while riding public transportation.  Her anxiety made it difficult to even order takeout.  And then things really began to fall apart. Her significant other secretly began dating one of her friends, disrupting her primary source of support and compromising her living situation.  Her only alternative was to return to her parents’ home, a place that was filled with difficult memories of traumatic loss. I knew the next few weeks would be critical – she had been forced out of ambivalence and would inevitably move toward self-destruction or self-actualization. Sometimes our discomfort has an unseen gift.  If we allow ourselves to feel it, it becomes greater than our fear, harnessing the power to propel us to take the next step.  A few weeks later she brought me this poem, the product of a restless, sleepless night.

The world is big, and we are small.
But we are more important than we alone will ever know.
The world is big, and we are small.
But just like the plants growing through the sidewalk cracks, we are resilient.
The world is big, and we are small.
Yet Winter always melts into Spring.
All we have to do is hold on tight; for nothing stays bad forever.
The world is big, and we are small.
But we are the warriors of our own stories, with songs in our hearts and magic in our blood.
Our fates spun by the stars themselves.
The world is big, and wild, and beautifully chaotic, and we are small.
So we must fight on.
For destiny awaits us.

She is now attending classes and visiting a college in California. The girl who struggled to order pizza is buying plane tickets and calling about apartments in another state.  It seems that once we start walking, each step gets a little easier until someday we are walking, even running, without really thinking about it.