Love and Fear

February 5, 2019 life

I have struggled,
for much of my life,
to keep my worst
from those around me,
but, all too often,
I have withheld my best
as well.

I have been afraid to love
and be loved
simply as myself.

In this painful prison,
the joy of authenticity
is hard to find,
and the boundless belonging
of an open heart
is likewise scarce.

Why have I settled
for so little,
for so long,
so willing to trade joy
for safety?

It has been a fool’s bargain,
a burden, slowly crumbling
under its own weight.

Bit by bit,
I feel it falling away,
until all that will be left,
if I am blessed by grace,
is me and the world,
with nothing in between.