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For as long as I can remember I’ve been afraid, and unsure of exactly what. I’ve been told to lock my doors and always look behind me when walking alone. As if humans (especially men, which a certain guy I dated pointed out many times) were dangerous and to be feared. I had an eye-opening experience last week of putting up my guard with a woman who hugged me and told me how she looked ghetto on the outside and dressed like me on the inside. (And yes, this sort of odd thing happen on a daily basis in SF.) Those words blew my mind and made me so aware of my fear of others.

I heard somewhere,  “Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learned here.” Love my parents so dearly, but I do think some of my paranoia is from them. There’s always a “be careful” or “watch out” following most of our conversations. A normal parental interaction, yes…I also see how it has shaped my world. We often mock one of my cats who runs from everyone and everything – except me. I’m actually somewhat afraid of him!? He pushes me to see my fear (consciously or unconsciously I can’t know) and represents the part of me who is scared of anything new and just about anyone I don’t know.

For several years I’ve struggled with an immune disorder that hasn’t been diagnosed very sufficiently. Needless to say I get parasites, viruses, and the like very frequently. It’s suddenly making sense. Immunity is about keeping people out. This society thrives on fear and I’m done with living that way. Like all emotions fear has a purpose, but not in loving. I can’t love this world and the people in it if I’m afraid. This world is a safe place being a woman or a man and I’m tired of believing otherwise. I can lock my door and still spare a smile, and sometimes change, for a stranger.

Today I’m grateful for Boo, Dr. Dean, and Lauren K.

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