When fear is your master

I’ve always struggled with crippling fear.

There, I said it. And by admitting this simple fact to you, dear reader, I’ve made myself vulnerable to you.

I’ve made myself open, raw. I’ve borne my soul to you. You know a deep, dark secret. You’ve got something on me.

And in that admission, I feel like I’m truly a human being.

Maybe just a few years ago, I would have shied away from such a proclamation. Maybe if you would have seen it in me, or confronted me about that fact, I would have puffed up my chest and told you all the reasons why you’re the weak one. But in embracing an attitude of rawness and openness, I’ve changed. In staring at the mirror, battling with my own weaknesses and struggles, I’ve decided to own my fear. And to own my weakness.

See, I’ve embraced the fact that I have been ruled by fear for most of my life. Fear of being weak. Fear of being unimportant. Fear of being meaningless. I’ve tried again and again to fill the void that fear brings with external measures of success so I wouldn’t have to admit that I’m not the alpha male. That I’m not the strongest person in the room. That I cry, and I have pain, and I have feelings. And yes, that I’m often not the best, or the smartest, or the most capable.

If you let your fear rule over you, you’re going to make a lot of stupid decisions. You’re going to try to lord your false sense of power over other people. You’re going to claim that you are the most important. You’re going to take your anger out on the people who should bear the brunt of your anger the least. Because fear, anger, and lack of empathy make you one thing. A bully.

And if you look in the mirror, and see who you really are, and are honest with yourself about your weakness, and your fear…well yes, you will have to face those things. And you may, or may not, choose to embrace the reality that you are weakness, personified.

You may not like what you see. You may have to admit the ugly truth of who you really are. You may have to understand that your motives are impure, based on falsehoods, and completely misguided. You may even realize that your sense of identity is false. You are bloated, self important, fat with privilege, a ridiculous caricature of a human being. You are, in a word, weak. And the strength of others that you could lean on, and learn from, that you could embrace, are considered a threat to you and your ilk.

You’re a coward. You’re such a coward, that you can’t even admit or face your cowardice. You’re unable to even fathom that your weaknesses drive you to make stupid decisions. You’re unable to even understand that you may not even have a seat at the table, because you’ve consistently and constantly turned others away, minimized their experiences, and made enemies where there could be friends.

And where you find internal weakness, you lash out, and accuse others. You accuse so much that you assume the language and guises of those who were posturing, fallacious, ridiculous worms and blights on the face of the planet. Who were obliterated for a reason. Who were cast out and reviled because what they stood for was self serving evil, and nothing else.

Mark my words. Your time will come. And it will end. And the weakness that you embrace, the fear and malice that you hold on to, will be your undoing.

But if you face your fear, and own it; If you throw yourself at the feet of the people you’ve hurt, the ones you’ve wronged, and beg for forgiveness, you may have a chance.

Yes, this will force you to become a supplicant. It will make you servile. It will break your back with humility and honesty. But I guarantee you, it is the only redemption you will have, and it is the only way you can ever begin to make amends, and free yourself from your fear and weakness.

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