“Fear of Happiness”

I’ve been thinking a lot about the fear of happiness and self-sabotage lately. I love this poem because the imagery speaks to taking risk when the most meaningful part of the risk is allowing yourself to take those chances.

Fear of Happiness

Looking back, it’s something I’ve always had:
As a kid, it was a glass-floored elevator
I crouched at the bottom of, my eyes squinched tight,
Or staircase whose gaps I was afraid I’d slip through,
Though someone always said I’d be all right—
Just don’t look down or See, it’s not so bad
(The nothing rising underfoot). Then later
The high-dive at the pool, the tree-house perch,
Ferris wheels, balconies, cliffs, a penthouse view,
The merest thought of airplanes. You can call
It a fear of heights, a horror of the deep;
But it isn’t the unfathomable fall
That makes me giddy, makes my stomach lurch,
It’s that the ledge itself invents the leap.
–A.E. Stallings

About Laura

When my nest emptied I moved from the big city to a little big town to tend to a ramshackle yellow house on the edge of town. These are my Yellow House Days.
This entry was posted in at the heart of things, Just me, not my poetry. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to “Fear of Happiness”

  1. That last line makes the poem, no?

    Like

  2. Cathy says:

    Taking a leap? Of faith? Of hope? Of love? Of letting go? Yup. We’ve all been there. The key is what are we going to do once we take that leap!?! Love the poem!

    Like

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