As she sat on the toilet contemplating fear and staring at the blue spots on the wall the lesson was illuminated. Of course there were no blue spots on the wall but seconds prior she’d been staring at a blue and white polka dotted towel so when she looked away saw the illusion of what was not there.  “That’s always been the challenge…” she said to herself, “…that and the fear.” 

Washing her hands she looked at her reflection and asked, “What if it’s not though? What if the challenge and fear are stories?” Knowing she’d need to take action to find the answer she pretended both did not exist to immediately and drastically change her routine.

At first the stories gripped her as self-talk urged her to remember she wasn’t safe.  In the beginning she listened and ran even as the energy following left her unsettled. She went back each day wondering if having herself exposed by three-hundred sixty degrees would ever leave her feeling something other than anxious and if so, how long it would take.

As the days went on she actually began to feel somewhat comfortable if not safe so began to let her guard down until a woman sat beside her as she worked to interrupt and compliment her shoes. She looked up to smile and exchanged with her the location of her purchase but when she turned back to work her stomach immediately felt uneasy with the look in the woman’s eyes. They were not the eyes of a woman who cared about how cute her shoes were.

Turning back to work she found her self questioning the location of her feet and realized how far beneath the table they were, how rarely she herself might observe a person’s shoes at a location of that depth and how compliments of that sort more often than not held intent. She considered that she was being paranoid but her stomach had turned to knots and it became difficult to concentrate.

After thirty minutes of silence the woman turned her vocal volume up several notches, much higher than that used in the compliment and made a phone call. Without looking at her she sensed the woman wanted her to hear exactly what she was saying to the person(s) on the other end so she took notes because the only tools that could make chronological order of her mind were pen and paper.

What the woman relayed gripped her heart in its intentional aim as a sense of being punched in the gut replaced anxiety. Immediately after the woman ended her call she stood up and left the building, mission accomplished. The hit confirmed one of the energies she’d felt following her.  She questioned what kind of energy a person might hold that they would desire to hurt or scare a person into themselves until feeling imprisoned by their skin and how she might deal with protecting herself from that energy. 

She concluded it was not her fear she’d been running from after all. Exposure was quick to teach her that comfort may have been the false handmaiden to storytelling and routine but more more than this it showed how important it was not to drop intuition as her guard and to gain strength in raising her voice to announce battle. Though her shoes may have been cute she knew no one would want to walk in them any more than there were blue spots on her white walls.

So fuck shoes and walk in unending faith and hope because every obstacle in life is but an illusion that looks like prison and feels like fear for having been stared at too long.  Pain is sent at the level required to cause the discomfort needed for seeking the light and only until we stare into one another’s heart can we find peace in looking away to truth to see that love is always real.