In every universe that is the human mind, body, and soul – there lives a snake.

This snake is fear.

By design, the snake lives within to warn and protect. In the beginning, its poison is a threat not realized. Yes, fear is a guide, a distracter to redirect the universe to a place of safety.

However, as with all beings, once fear tastes power or sees the strength of persuasion, it grows. Once the snake is fed, it develops poison.

The snake slid behind my eyes, leaving my mind in darkness. It found my weaknesses and devoured them. Too soon the reptile overtook my senses and seduced me, reducing my power over reason. The fear grew inside me with every tempted breath.

I hate it, yet I feed it. My thoughts and actions betray my former self; the rattle of fear follows me through the caverns of my own soul. I have shed layers and each time find I am closer to the snake dwelling inside. I can not distinguish between the fear of the past, fear of who I am, and fear of who I will become.

What began as my protector has become the poisonous enemy. This enemy is swallowing me whole from the inside out.

What weapons do I have to defeat this interior demon? Will the battle cost me my mind? My body? My soul? A choice must be made, this poison can not continue within my flesh.

I must look deeply, facing what is inside, and confront the rattling of my damaged soul . . .

Oh how I wish I could go in with you! Although this battle is yours to fight; you must know you do not face it alone.

I have seen you seduced by the poison. I have witnessed the pain of your skin being shed. I have loved you.

I know what weapons you hold in store. I know the Calvary of your faith. I know you doubt the strength of your grip. I will love you.

Oh the rattling, the spitting, the cries of torment that you must endure! I would go within you if I could.

I must fight fire with fire: as it would suffocate me, I must surround it and tighten my grip. I must take a hold of my life and not let go. I MUST HOLD ON.

Please hold on.

I must take the breath out of fear. Deny the thirst of the demon. With all of my strength the fear must be faced and denied.

It is not easy to deny the snake his shot of whisky, to turn away from his feast of lust. To call out to friends that nourish, and deny the serpents of others that feed on the darkest parts of your being. Your temptation is his poison.

Some days you will have to force yourself to walk away from comfort and into the darkness. That is the snake playing tricks with the light. Do not let him trick you! He will become smaller as he is denied.

With each day your own colors will return. Your layers will regenerate. With the return of hope, clarity, and peace, you will become strong. Stronger than the snake that slithers through your veins. The snake will never be dead. Someday, it will be harmless.

One thing will never change. Everyday there is a decision you must face
Do you feed yourself or
Do you feed the snake?



Omaha, United States

  • Artist
  • Artwork Comments 21

Artist's Description

Fear, my protector or my enemy?

Please take a look at this incredible image by BarbaraManis,

It is the photo that clarified this piece for me and I referred to it several times while writing. I think it drives my point home.

Thank you Barbara!

Artwork Comments

  • ©Janis Zroback
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  • dolphinkist
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  • Barbara Manis
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  • Chookas
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