I turned 46 years old this year. That’s a moment, a monument of sorts. I keep thinking, “50 minus 4 years old.” I never thought I would be that age.
When I was a kid, 50 was kind of an old dude.
I really think back in the 80’s, 50 and 60 year old dudes were older dudes than they are now. I can remember the 17 year old young man I was, and I remember wondering who I would become. It’s interesting because that 17 year old boy and young man is still very much a part of me. His voice is strong. While there is the 25 year old me (who learned how to apply to endeavors with the tenacity taught to me by my father), there is also the 35 and 40 year old me who has learned I can pretty much do whatsoever I set my mind to because, well, I have to.
Then there is the me who is a father to an 11 year old son, loves him so very much, and doesn’t want him to go through the self-mutilation of negative thinking based on conditioned fear. I wants him to be better than that. I wants him to have more than that. So I open up the cornucopia that is me, lay it out flat on the wood of reality, study it, and realize there are two binary primers I have always held onto in experiencing myself in everyday life. They are love and fear.
I’ve had a pretty consistent array of life defining fears: fear of failure, fear of success.
Those feelings of fear were related to other emotions of anxiety, anger, worry, sadness and even foresight and longing. I had a fear I would be homeless. I had a fear I would never have the life I wanted. I had a fear the voices were against me, a fear that those who were aligned against me were right. I had a fear I was somehow not equipped, I was somehow not worthy of the life I imagined for myself. I had a fear of not knowing. I had a fear of being successful and success not being enough, or not being what I thought success would be. I had a fear I would never have any money (I still have the fear even though I have money). Was I just a fraud pretending to be me (or, the me I was being, was a complete fraud)? I have had a fear of unseen enemies trying to take everything away from me. (Or is that paranoia?) I have so many fears, my fears have fears (for fears, like ambitions are children who give birth to other little fellows)
In the end, if now were the end which it is not, none of those fears have been real. I see clearly, like looking back at a sun setting over the horizon. There was never a threat promised by fear that, in the end, was really real. It was life posturing as a delusion in my mind.
Some of those fears have found their place in my reality, all lumpy and bold and ugly. Fear always comes with its motley crew: Insecurity, Rage, Depression, Self-Sabotage, Self-Loathing, and Loneliness. I’ve learned to sit still in the space when these fellows come to play – I just become still as a Winter Solstice and don’t move a muscle. I peek at them and see the game they are running on me. I don’t let those fellows define me, because I know they are not real. I always wonder if they didn’t occupy space in my mind, would they have come to be?
In fact, we live in a reality that is the summation of our dreams and nightmares, our ambitions and failures as members of the human species. We are the CEO, the gods, the authors of the realities we inhabit. We are the manifestors on a collective plane that is a prism, a collection of all of our envisioning intersected. We project what we are, and what we will be from within; from within our souls, from within our inner-minds. It’s like the sun giving light and energy to the day. That’s how our eyes and our visions for ourselves work.
So. What. Do. I. Do? What will I do?
What will I do to deal with these Fears, these demons masked as principalities?
Fear, and its bedfellows or motley crew of Shame, Indecision, and Loss are stepping stones. Really, they are intruders coming from the space within ourselves we don’t give voice to, give light to, or acknowledge in the company of intelligent minds. This is where my gift of self-awareness comes into play.
I don’t think of me as me. I think of me as the me I project me to be. Then I look at all the other elements around me – my friends, my family, my partners, my endeavors and environments. I begin to move pieces around. It helps if I am exercising, if I am prayerful and engage the spirits around me to deal with the wars being waged within, if I meditate on where I have been and where I have yet to go. If, within the province of the inner eye, I apply wisdom. I come up with this:
Try and be the summation of your greatest ambitions with the wanton abandonment of a child. Do not be the adult who is taught behaviors by others: the system, the society of men. Be gentle with yourself in your application of learning, and climb mountain tops, seek to fly to the stars, or bathe cosmic in the pool of light and gas that is the sun. Aspire to your highest dream by making a go at secret, long held ambitions. Or, by challenging a long held negative belief utilized for survival purposes, because the only thing consistent in this universe is love.
Hatred is all encompassing when you are in it, but fleeting nonetheless. The permanency of hatred occurs when we allow it into our souls without challenging it, without facing the devil disguised as ourselves. So, find your mountain and climb. For you will find freedom not in reaching the summit, but in the act of lifting one foot on top of another and repeating the process. The child in you is right. The boy or girl inside you is omnipotent and has been correct: you can do anything you set your mind to.
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