“Unafraid” — Comment and Song

It’s interesting, that as I was writing the last post, about being afraid of competition, I was simultaneously working on this song about being unafraid.  You can see, this is a constant struggle for me, between these two feelings.  Not that I’m alone.  The media supports fear in most everything it broadcasts:  fear of the weather, of the person next door, of traffic accidents, of terrorists, of eating the wrong thing, of poisoning, of what might happen to your child, and on and on.  It is a great effort to combat that constant influx of fear-inspiring information.  I don’t think every country is the same in doing this with its media, but the United States is at the top of the list.

As afraid as I always am, that I’m not good enough, I also know the tragedy of trying to be someone I’m not, when I’m trying to impress someone, when I was hoping for a date to work out, when I wanted a particular job.  And I know the tragedy of being with someone else who pretends to be someone they’re not at first, and then you find out about what’s underneath, and sometimes events have happened which make it sticky to become uninvolved with that person.  That’s a mess.

But I’m lucky, I’ve finally learned what it is like to be with someone who loves you all the way, all the weird quirks, the whining, the past mistakes, the irritating habits.  It’s really really scary revealing some of these things, but when you’ve found the someone you’re supposed to be with, none of these make any difference to the love that they feel for you.  At one point in time I would have said, “How can that be true?  Even the people I love irritate the h… out of me sometimes.”  But now I know it can be true, because I feel that way about my partner.  It doesn’t matter what she does, doesn’t matter what quirk shows up, doesn’t matter what she’s done in the past — I love every single part of her, actively and constantly.  Are there times when I feel grouchy?  Of course.  But I’ve noticed that it really has to do with me, my mood, my own issues at that moment, and not really anything to do with her.  When we first met and had a few fights, we both realized rather quickly that the fights had to do with expectations and experiences with past lovers.  They were not really about each other, just about old stuff that was touched off by the other person.  Any issues now have to do with one or the other of us being scared about something we can’t control, or don’t think we can control.

My children hope and pray that it doesn’t take them until the age of 53 to find the person they were meant to be with.  I don’t think they find me a good role model in that way.  However, I think 53 was the perfect time — we didn’t really need to raise our children together, we each had a better sense of ourselves, what was important, what we wanted in a relationship, what we wanted to do in the world, the community, our home, we were relatively stable financially.  We have no regrets about the time it took to find each other, and in fact are relieved that we got a lot of our immature stuff out of the way before we met.

When I was young, I wouldn’t have believed that I could be my whole self all the time with another person. I am so relieved and amazed that I can, that I had to write a song about it.  It started out very personal, and I had very specific examples of ways we could be ourselves (quirks being listed, etc.).  But I’ve been told to make my songs more universal, so I thought about what people do in general when they meet someone they would possibly like to be in a relationship with.  And I tried to write it so that most of us can relate.  Hope you enjoy.

Unafraid

When your heart starts to flutter

and you want to impress

You show off your good traits,

Hide all the rest

You smile when you’re feeling

Not quite like yourself

Talk through all those first dates

There’s so much you don’t tell.

Staying true to yourself

Is really okay

Be whoever you are

Every day

Unafraid, Unafraid

As time passes by

You become more relaxed

Share family stories

Careers and the past

But worries still linger

Way back in your mind

What if she doesn’t like you

Or the things that she finds?

Staying true to yourself

Is really okay

Be whoever you are

Every day

Unafraid, unafraid.

When you share what’s deep inside

You can love and be loved

No more need to hide

The right person will stay by your side.

You tremble one day

When your worst is exposed

Nothing more left to prove

No more myths to unfold.

Your lover still holds you

Though your secrets are out

Her acceptance is clear

You are loved without doubt.

Staying true to yourself

Is really okay

Be whoever you are

Every day

Unafraid, unafraid.

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