What grants you such power? What gives you authority? What feeds your growth? What does it take to prune you? What will trap you? How can your roots be contained? How can you be kept in your own place? What will prevent you from overtaking The Garden of Life? Fear An invasive species Not native to our kind But present and pervasive, nevertheless Fear Of past pain and suffering Returning with a vengeance Of future loss Of death of loved ones Of conflict, violence and war. Fear Of sleeplessness Of laziness Of failure Of redundancy and emptiness Of illness and infirmity Of financial struggles of love, success and happiness. Fear Of loneliness and cold Of heat and danger Of cruelty and evil. So much to fear The list grows with the telling But--does the telling shed light? Fear Grows unrestrained In dark, secret corners of our beings The roots sink into the rich compost of human frailty Insidiously attacking and overtaking Our roots of happiness, love, peace and meaning Crowding out the fruits of the Spirit; Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control Casting dark shadows--obscuring our light. Fear From where comes your power? What feeds you? How can you be tamed? Dare to open the doors of your heart Open wide to the light of goodness, of love Know, deep in your being, know That there resides a seed of hope, of truth Flickering always--ready to ignite to flame God, by any name, residing within the ever present Light of Love. Quiet. . . quiet the thoughts Quiet. . . Quiet the torment Quiet. . . quiet the steady stream of doubt. Listen. . . deep within the quiet Feel. . . the wisp of hope the wisp of maybe the wisp of the wings of love. Stay there and feed your spirit Nourish the soil of your soul And the roots of fear Will wither and retreat Now, take hold of each branch of that fear Pull it, roots and all, Out of the nurturing soil. Look closely at the dis-empowered fear See it for the limp, scraggle it is cut off from its source. Honor the suffering you have endured The pain that has disconnected you from nutrients The dark that hovered in the pain And allowed the invader, fear , to take root. Offer compassion to the self Who suffered and withdrew Applaud him/her for persevering Despite hardship, loss, and pain. With the power of your truth Gather the weeds of worry, the Vegetation of victim Place them with care In a steel walled, solid floored container Give them no water, no fertilizer, no soil Let them wither and shrink Untended Watch them lose their power. Witness the fruits of your Garden of Life As they prosper, flourish, and multiply Breathe in deeply the beauty Give breath to the flickering light Allow your roots to take a deep and steadfast hold. Pain and suffering will visit Winds of change will blow The freeze of winter will come. Be at peace knowing Your roots reach deeply into the well of life Drink deeply and carry on For fear can strangle you no more.