Beneath nervousness lurks shattering fear, the stuff of childhood
nightmares. Admit the fear. Confront it. You fear making a fool of
yourself. You fear messing things up. You fear rejection. You fear
ridicule. You fear mocking laughter. You fear what fear itself is doing
to you, breaking down your resolve and triggering the reflex to run and
hide. Yet, you can grit your teeth and fight back. Know you can
be afraid, and still do what needs to be done.
"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the
little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has
gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the
fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."
Wall yourself off from the woman across from you. Need, desperation,
and loneliness have plunged you into a state of hyperacute emotional
sensitivity. It is as though your feelings were an open wound, and a
single touch means agony. Weakness! Vulnerability! Visualize a shield,
construct an invisible barrier in your mind between the two of you. You
are, as yet, strangers to one another, all possibilities unrealized,
and you cannot, will not impinge upon each other, neither physically nor
yet in the realm of feelings. You are only just "establishing diplomatic
relations". It is a small, safe beginning.
In time, you will learn to harness the motive force, the raw power, the explosive energy that fuels your mind and body's reaction to challenge. Fear can mobilize, rather than paralyze. Think of it as a resource, a reservoir of energy. Harness it. Use it. Learn to fly with it.
Only one feat is possible -- not to have run away.