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time is a tree (this life one leaf)
but love is the sky and i am for you
just so long and long enough

-EE Cummings

My fear came back in full force for a bit. I forgot, as I am wont to do when he is around, how to control my anxiety. My mind has been awakening, but there are still those parts that are a little sluggish and cause me to forget, and when the stress comes, when he gets into attack mode, my fight or flight kicks in. Then it stays kicked in, until I remember, or am reminded, how to find my happy.

So for a few days, I was all amped up again. We had another mediation, wherein I was accused of more things I did not do, and had to defend myself against his latest tirades. We came very, very close to some actual agreements, but, as usual, something happened right at the end to trigger him and set him off, so no papers were signed. Again.

But I’m okay. This time, I went in there prepared with my army. I felt them, all those prayers and all those angels surrounding me, buoying me up, making me stronger than myself alone. I fairly floated into that lawyer’s office, ready to take on anything and anyone. As the mediation wore on, I wore down, but, by the end, I was still okay. The fact that he didn’t sign the papers didn’t bother me all that much. It was what I had expected. The fact that he had accused me of more ridiculous things was “normal” behavior for him. The fact that his lawyer tried to make me look like the uncooperative, unsympathetic, uncaring villain of the situation was par for the course, and I stood up for myself and put his lawyer back in his place in a dignified, calm manner.

Then afterwards came, with more threatening texts and more accusations, and I was already so worn down and I am only human and he keeps going and going and going. I lost my happy. I was afraid.

I was afraid when my family came to visit me that he would show up and be upset they were there and freak out and I’d have to call the cops again. I was afraid he’d finally be at the end of his rope and actually follow through with his threats and cause even more damage and drama in my life and my family’s life and our children’s lives.

And I despise drama. With my whole soul, I want peace and calm and happy.

I couldn’t find it, though. I felt myself flailing, fighting, floundering. I was drowning in my anxiety. I prayed, cried, reached out to others once more. “How do I stop being afraid of him?” I asked. “I had conquered it and felt so free…how do I conquer again?”

A friend gave me an answer with a question:
“What is the opposite of fear?”

Ah, then I remembered. That lesson I’ve known for so long and been learning more and more every day. That powerful force that is the root of all good, all happiness, all peace. That quality that heals wounded hearts, gives hope to the hopeless, and, in its most pure and perfect form, saved all mankind when manifested by our Heavenly Father through his Only Begotten Son. Somehow, in my world-weary state, I had forgotten.

The simple act of remembering freed me almost immediately. I felt lighter and happier at once. As I thought through it, reapplied it, I realized even more about that awesome power of Love. Love encompasses all those qualities needed to find true peace and happiness in this world. It embodies compassion, service, selflessness, and, of course, charity.  Understanding, patience, and sympathy also come as a result of turning the heart away from fear and toward love. I cannot feel fear of him when I feel love for him; when I remember that he, like me, is a beloved child of God.

The anxiety has once more melted away. I am again free, for the time being, and confident I can conquer this life. Most of all, I am grateful for loved ones, friends, and a Heavenly Father who sees me, knows me, and loves me enough to keep sending me reminders as often as I need them.

I pray I never forget again.
But if I do, I know I’ll always eventually find my way back

to love.

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