Peace favours the brave

I'm going to be honest with you here. And that scares the poop out of me.

Laura Longworth
Laura Longworth

I’m frightened of opening up to people. Sounds kind of strange, right, coming from a columnist speaking on emotional matters? But I don’t just mean revealing deep, dark secrets.

Even in day-to-day conversations, I’m forever holding up a guard.

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It’s not that I’m a “loner”: I love nothing more than giggling like a hamster, for example, as my sister and I sing our version of Honda’s advertisement song, “Hate something, change something (ba da ba)”.

Yes, I’d say I’m an introvert. As much as I crave social time, I also need a few hours alone to reflect and recharge. That’s probably down to terrible self-esteem, a constant fear of being judged frazzling my brain, something we all experience to differing degrees.

My life’s dream has always been to be a writer. Novels and poems and articles have always been recourse for emotional healing in my life, an instant connection between complete strangers, and I hope to offer that to others. I guess writing has always seemed to me a safer tool for connection, the instantaneousness of the spoken word making it easy to tangle up around you. But the beauty of that instantaneousness is honesty - and that vulnerability is really an opportunity for unconditional love.

In my eyes, you could have all the money and fame and success in the world but none of that could ever blunt the sting of loneliness. You could create a name as famous as Napoleon or Michael Jackson, building a legacy that outlasts the century. But just like that celebrated name, you’ll only feel like an echo of the person you really are, drifting from scene to scene, if you avoid making connections.

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The paradox of life is this: striving for a quiet life by avoiding fear and pain won’t give you one. You can’t escape your mind. Trying to do so only places significance on the existence of your fears, giving them strength. Pain and fear are inevitable, necessary; they’re warning signs that something is amiss. In fact, the only way you can overpower your fears is by facing them head on, using them as your weapon for good.

Darkness might scare you but remember this: you cast your shortest shadow at midday. It’s true, that famous saying: “Fortune favours the brave”. But so does peace.