Horizontal Fears

            I have a horizontal relationship with fear. Its taunting lure is not my superior, its skeptics and judgements do not precede my morals. It does not loom over me, nor am I above it. I see it as an equal. I choose to embrace it, even with its twisted roots. Fear does not control me; for that, I feel fearless.

            I used to have this overwhelming fear of getting lost: losing my mother in the grocery store, unsuccessfully cycling unfamiliar roads, losing my thoughts in the unknown. Consumed by this fear, I would desperately try to follow the safe paths of life to avoid getting lost. I found comfort in the predictable, the easy. However, I have begun to realize the cruciality of losing oneself in the journey of self-discovery. It is chaotic and confusing, but moreover, it is pure.

A few nights ago, at Seva Café, I lost myself in freedom. As the monsoon showers came hurtling down at us, good tides and well-meaning thoughts filled every corner of the warm restaurant. My face was a dripping amalgam of heavy Gujarat rain and sweat; I was soaked in freedom. Twirling around the slippery golden stage, fostering a complete control over my life. Love washed over my eyes in full waves, arriving in the form of tears. The people swaying around me, they’re my family. There was a lull in time; it may have been the robust dinner that was cooked with a hefty spoonful of heartfulness, or John Lennon’s “Imagine” playing in the background. I didn’t know the lyrics, but I knew the song. I didn’t know the dance moves, but I knew the beat.

Lost in freedom, I did not know nor understand every single doctrine of the universe; for some reason, I was strangely content with this incompleteness. Instead of fearing the inconceivable questions of life, I felt an unfamiliar comfort in embracing them with an open heart and arms. The questions of life are wonderfully incomplete, and I will be stuck on this puzzle for my entire life! And yes, I feel perfectly fine with this! As my heart danced the night away, my mind took a much needed break. “When your heart is full, your mind will be at ease”, Jayesh bhai told us. The more I let my heart grow, the night would grow increasingly beautiful. I felt as if I had discovered a truth: the truth of beauty. I believe beauty comes from the appreciation of the world, in all its open-ended mysteries. To feel fulfilled, one does not need to know all the answers. The truth of fulfillment is to be content with the incomplete. For once in my life, I am not actively pursuing answers. Answers feel like an injustice, a single story to encapsulate an inexplicable experience. The acceptance of the unknown feels empowering, and I have come to a fulfilling personal realization. Maybe life is meant to be unknown. Life is an incomprehensible enigma of purity and complexity, an unanswered question, a cyclic journey of wonder and surprise.