Fears of Peers
As a little girl I loved heights. I’d climb every tree. At 8 I climbed to the roof of a house being built and wouldn’t come down until the entire neighborhood forced me to at Sunset. The higher I got the more comfortable I was. I would revel in the fact that adults feared the heights I’d live in. Then around my teenage years I started having lucid nightmares about being at the top of a mountain and thinking I was going to fall so much that it actually felt like a force pushed me off. Somehow I’d suddenly become intimately afraid of heights.
As I had gotten older the peers around me would find commonality in fears. The one they’d talk about most was heights. Maybe that’s when it changed for me. When it was the adults who laid out this fear I reveled in our differences but when it was my peers all I wanted was to feel the same. I wanted to feel something they did because they seemed so jovial in it. It was so rare to find things in these groups that made me fit in. I specifically remember how I felt the very first time this conversation took place around me. I remember not identifying with this but saying that I did to fit in. I’m 36 and only just compared my youthful faith to my lack of faith in conformity after all these years.
For a long time this nightmare of falling off a mountain to the point of being pushed was reoccurring. Realizing this puts you into a place of mourning. How could I let that fearless little girl be drowned out and grounded by the need to fit in? How could I not see that fearing something to fit it was loving a ground I didn’t belong to? I’d never belonged to the ground. I belonged in the air, where my dreams and my Faith held me up. Where I sat with God. Where I could think clearly. Sitting on the roof of that house so little, I knew I was in trouble. I saw the fear in everyone’s eyes looking up and heard the fear in their angry voices to get back down. I didn’t care. When I came down I did it apathetic to punishment which was being hit over and over on my backside by a belt. I didn’t care. The height was too good to care. So then how, after such faith in a home that was higher, did I allow myself to be grounded by peers and their fears? Why did I think fitting in was more important than the pride of standing out? Is the fear of fitting in worth the death of that free spirit? No. To fit in was to suffocate that little dreamer in the most excruciating way possible: Quietly and slowly. I’m only just realizing that was the slow death of a dreamer.. but I forgive myself and am coming back from the dead.
Last night I had a dream I was on a cliff. I was smiling while balancing in a pirouette. I could feel the cool breeze and something like Gods kiss up there. It was just me at the highest point but I wasn’t alone. Not at all. Not even close. What surrounded me would never let me fall, so falling wasn’t in question. I felt nothing above me and nothing below me. There was only Love. I think this is what it can be like walking a path alone, dismissing whispers from anyone but your higher self. Walking your path alone may feel lonely on the ground, but maybe you weren’t meant for the ground. Maybe you were meant to be up in the clouds. I think there are dreamers without fear playing in the clouds waiting for those who let themselves go higher and higher above the noise. Above the fears. I’ll meet you there.