Fear the fire and walk through it anyway.

And if we have to tackle our worst nightmares to overcome them, then I’d play football for the first time in my life. Affixed a piercing glare through the metal bars of my helmet to lock eyes with you.

My opponents are big and strong and rough. Too big, too strong, too rough, I’d tell myself. You can’t do it. 

Tackle your worst nightmares to overcome them, your therapist tells you. But what makes him afraid? When has he sat on the other side of the office, unprotected by his clipboard and chaise lounge and framed diploma, to embrace the nightmares?

Fear the fire and walk through it anyway.

So what have I to lose? Ignore all the odds. I’ll tackle my worst nightmares to overcome them.

You’re fat, Luke. You’ve got baby weight and like donuts too much. I feel your soft sides and your giant ass. The boys online are prettier than you. Tanned skin, thick muscles. Deep V-lines and great selfie angles. One hundred thousand retweets.

You’re ugly, Luke. You are naive and immature for thinking you could ever look like America’s Next Top Model. For everything you have to offer, there is always someone better. You’re single because there is always someone better.

You’re not talented, Luke. Mediocre, at best in all aspects of life. Writing or singing or dancing or loving others. Especially loving others.

You don’t have a future, Luke. You have ridiculous expectations. Unrealistic beliefs about changing the world and bringing joy to others. Childish ambitions to be famous and successful and proud.

You’re selfish, Luke. You listen selectively, but speak persistently. You seek personal benefit and develop dangerous apathy. You are a cliché millennial, losing touch with compassion and snail mail.

You’re a bully, Luke. You’re mean because you’re lonely and scared. You push others away as a means to protect. Cheers to the fall. The longer you stand strong alone, the closer you are to crumbling alone. Humans are not built to be so mighty. You cannot make a wall of one in place of many. We are born to need others.

And is that a touchdown? How will we ever know if we are completely unafraid?

Fear the fire and walk through it anyway.

I crossed hot coals to find you, Luke, but now all I have is seared heels and a lurking subconscious.

I tackled my worst nightmares to overcome them, but now I have nightmares when I daydream. I am sleepwalking, side by side with insecurities that grew into monsters after I fed them acknowledgment.

Coat your therapist in gasoline and toss the match so he can know how it feels.

Fear the fire and walk through it anyway.

But I took the fire with me.


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