by Rod Smith

When men and women allow another to come close and then have expressed their deepest thoughts, I have discovered a few common fears. I have identified them within myself and in extended moments of vulnerability I shared with others:

The fear of exposure, of being discovered as a fraud, fake, failure who has been able to masquerade successes. The fear of abandonment, of discovering no one stayed or remained faithful to friendships, to the continued enjoyment of familial connections, formal and informal. The fear of aloneness, discovering there is no-one in your circle, your corner, there is no-one on your team. The fear of total dependence, discovering you are in the hands of strangers, helpers who talk loudly, speak in commands; regard you as needy flesh, a man or woman without a story, without a rich history. The fear of unfinished business, the inability or lack of opportunity to find completion, to close the circle, to express regrets, to ask for forgiveness; to be surrounded by people for whom being right, being correct trumps being reconconcialtory or expressing mercy.

You and I, dear reader, can be the antidote to those who harbor such fears, and offer mercy and kindness in places where there sometimes appears to be an absence of both.

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