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           We all experience moments of supremely intense doubt. Sometimes these moments stretch into minutes, or even hours. They can be crippling.
           This is not the kind of doubt you experience when you’re not sure if you should get the chef’s special or the chef’s salad. This is the the kind of doubt you experience when you question your value as a person; when you question the value of your contribution to life.
           I used to keep these moments all to myself. I never let any friend or lover or family member in on them. For I was afraid that if anyone, and I mean anyone, knew that this was what was going on in my heart of hearts, that they would literally write me off, right then and there. These doubts felt that ugly, that unacceptable, that disastrous, that shameful. I call this particular fear of instant abandonment the Just One Thought Away From Oblivion Syndrome (J.O.T.A.F.O.S.).  
           There’s a twelve step saying that goes, “We are only as sick as our secrets”. The more secrets we keep, and the deeper and darker the secrets, the more pain we’re in. Conversely, the more we share, the more we heal. Through lots of experience, from being on both sides of that axiomatic fence, I can say, without question, how powerfully true this is.
           I’m much better at sharing these moments of doubt now. I’ll tell someone I love about them. I’ll write prose about them, or create poetry about them. Sometimes I’ll even post those writings to my blog, for anyone to read. Quite a leap from keeping them completely hidden from the whole of humanity. The creating and the sharing diffuse the power of these doubts.
           Creating and sharing also allows me to move through these doubts quicker. If I keep these doubts all to myself, they rattle around inside of me. And, like heavy metal ball bearings sloshing around an otherwise empty dryer, they can do a lot of damage. By sharing, by opening the door and letting them out, I release them. They have less ability to hurt. In fact, they transform. These doubts and feelings can now be used to heal. They can be put to healthy use. Like the creation of art. Or the connection with another person.
           A while ago, not exactly sure when, I wrote this poem during one of those periods of intense doubt.   

    During the quiet passages of an inner symphony
    Between the drum beats of my own heart thunder
    Within the preciously small spaces between breaths
    In lungs always working to get more air
    Woven into the complex pattern of energy
    That make up but a single moment of my thinking
    I ask the question
    Can anybody ever truly love me for all that I am
    And for all that I am not?
    Am I ever going to find a woman
    Who will not only embrace me
    For the Apparently Occasionally Overwhelming Everything That I Am
    But actually Love Me For It?
    Will a woman ever find me so complicatedly fascinating
    And so lovingly simple to understand
    That she can grasp all of it without so much of me slipping through her hands
    Will she love me enough
    So that I don’t eventually ooze out of her life
    Like too much gel through something not vast enough
    Or willing enough
    To grasp it all?

    ©2103 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart, and Red F Publishing. All rights reserved.

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