“Fear is a friend who’s misunderstood…”

~ John Mayer, Heart of Life


Time travel back to the place I first heard it, each time I hear it.  Morning commutes to school for my music-head son during 5th/6th grade year.  Life was bumpy, but not yet rocky.  I’d practise deep breathing, and holding back tears, so he wouldn’t see how it pierced me and stop playing it.  Each morning I thought I’d unravel the paradox of fear and friendship.

In the depths of my shattering, understanding seemed a taunting tease on a twist of pretty words.  And, today, just today, I may have it.

Indulge me a memory to illustrate, would you?

My then 15 year old son was playing in an all-star game, scoring 4 of the 7 winning goals.  I’d noticed him talking with his defender when play was at the other end of the field, and he told of being taunted with trash talk – You suck!  You’re just lucky.  I’m gonna take.you.down! – the usual pysch ’em out babbleto which my son replied with a nonchalant good natured shoulder shrug – You may be right.

And the kid laughted.  A friend made.

I waited for parenthood, and thought alot about it in the meanwhile.  Kids push boundaries.  Parents hold them.  Came a point early on when I told my pushing children, Look, I hear you.  You’re just doing your job.  You’re pushing the boundaries.  I’m just doing my job holding ’em.  Nothing personal.  Worked every time.  Complete deflation of friction.

Are we, then, acting like little ones, pushing boundaries and fear is like a parent, or a bully, who keeps holding them or pushing back?  Can we stand next to it and say, hey, I get you’re just doing your job, and I’m doing mine…nothing personal…?  Can we see that fear is a friend on the playing field of life, giving us game, trash talking, but willing to laugh if we do first?

I’m going to try it.  What do you think?

The song is Heart of Life and the refrain goes, I know the heart of life is good.

Have a listen.



© 2015, Elz. All rights reserved.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.