“J’ai peur.”
“I’m scared.”
As Hurricane Irma makes its way across the Atlantic ocean
toward islands, homes, businesses, animals, people
these words appear more and more on Facebook.

What to do in the midst of experiencing fear
that “gut-wrenching, can’t explain, keep-me-awake” type of fear
… medical diagnosis, painful medical/dental procedure
… violence, homelessness, hunger, abuse, deportation
… emergency evacuation due to fires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes

I wish I had the definitive answer.

I find help in
… talking
… crying
… admitting my fear to myself/another
… praying
… focusing on slowly breathing “in – peace; out – fear”
… writing/blogging
… playing my flute
“creating” something
… repeating the words of Dame Julian of Norwich
“All shall be well.  All shall be well.  And all manner of thing shall be well”

… nothing seems to help.

The feelings of
… helplessness
… abandonment
… lack of control

My breathing becomes shallow.
My heart races.
My mind won’t stop thinking.

At such times
I take comfort in the reality
that somewhere in the world
… someone is meditating
… someone is remembering me/the situation
… someone is praying the Daily Office
… someone is at peace and wanting peace for others
… someone is sitting cross-legged and chanting
… someone is saying the Rosary
… someone is receiving Communion
… someone is reciting the Shema
… someone is thinking/sending/praying/whispering good thoughts
… someone is holding those experiencing fear in their heart, mind and spirit.

I am comforted.
Because of our common humanity,
I am not alone.

To all in the path of fury
… be that human nature
… be that Mother Nature
may you be comforted.
You are not alone.

It may feel like you are.
But you are not alone.
We are connected.

We are connected
by the intangible essence of
compassion, empathy, prayer, love
… our humanity.

It’s okay to admit our fear
in spoken and written word.

Admitting our fear
helps move it out of the darkness
and the power fear wields over us
is no longer as strong
as it was even a moment ago
when fear was boxed-up inside us.

This night
and each night
I remember those
who are huddled in a corner
… of a room
… of their thoughts
in fear.

It’s okay to admit
“I’m afraid.  J’ai peur.”



Photo and Text © June Maffin

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