My name used to be Fear.
I walked it, wore it, smelled of it, took it on as myself. I moved through life with hands held up as fists, swinging in the dark with teeth clenched and eyes narrowed. It was my way through. It was how I made it through.
But I didn’t move. I stood still, paralyzed with shame. I was ashamed of what I did, what I was, the words I spoke. And that instant was frozen in time, lived over and over again. It was all I knew…the guilt, the pain. It was all I knew.
And then one day I took a breath that was just a little bit fuller, just a little bit deeper. I was tired, I guess, and just a little more than broken. And without thinking I leaned. I leaned into something behind me, around and above me.
I sighed. He sighed too. “There you are,” he said. “I knew you’d come around.” I kept quiet. “You do know it’s all bullshit, right? You never did all that stuff. It’s just a story.”
“I don’t believe you,” I whispered, my hands held tight at my side. “You don’t know me.”
He smiled and when he did the light in his eyes grew brighter. I had to look away. “Actually,” he said. “I am the only one who knows you. You are a stranger to yourself.”
That pissed me off. The nerve of him. He knew nothing. “No, I know exactly who I am. I’m bad. I think bad things about people. I judge them. I hurt them. I’m selfish and I’m ugly. It’s not safe while I’m here. I ruin everything.”
And he laughed. He laughed! He reached behind him and held out a mirror to me. “Take it,” he said. “Hold it up to your face.”
I rolled my eyes, ready to be done with this, this…farce. And as I raised the mirror up to my eyes I nearly dropped it right then and there. In the reflection was not me.
It wasn’t me, it was Him. Him.
“Do you see?” he asked. I nodded. He smiled an all-knowing smile. “Good, good. Now tell me, what is your name?”
I swallowed, cleared my throat and parted my lips. “My name,” I started with shaky hesitation. “My name is…Love.”
The words filled the air around us and became everything: All that ever was and ever will be.
“Yes,” he said.
“How did you…?”
He winked. “It’s my name too.”