"Know thyself." Socrates

I'm a people pleaser. I want people to be proud of me. I want to live up to their expectations.

But that's only half of me. My other half is wild, rebellious, untamed. I want to speak my mind and never feel shame for it. I want my own beliefs acknowledged and respected. I want to be myself and revel in that simple act of being.

But that wild half, all too often, remains caged by another force. The terrible force of Fear, seeking to crush my wildness, tame me, keep me obedient and in check. Fear tells me, in a voice that shakes me down to my bones, "Don't step out of line. You will be punished, rejected, banished, hated."

So I crawl on my belly before Fear, like a dog kicked and whimpering, wanting only love, and willing to kill the wildness within, if only to be able to keep close to the fires of home, for being someone I am not.

One day, I tell myself, I will stand up to Fear. I will embrace my wildness, wrap myself in a coat of it, all flames and leaping, and take on Fear, fang to claw. I will win, and I will not look back. I will go among my loved ones and I will help them to find their own wildness, to don their own coats of fire.