In early spring of 2017 my wife and I drove to New Orleans (NOLA) for a 5k foot race. Tek wi self 640 miles west of Florida to run 3.1 miles! Oh my! Call it drive or fear drenched stupidity. No one could tell us we weren’t liberating ourselves from the monotony of everyday life. We declared that this season in our lives was our ‘red pill’ experience to actively pursue our life outside the Matrix of deception (humanity’s reality outside what God intended for us). We strongly believed that this was the best steps to the next path.

Raising Cain

The day before the race we went out to a Louisiana fast food charm called Raising Cane. If you’ve never been before, it is quite similar to Culvers or PDQ. The name had us reminiscing on some passed experience with our mothers. We crackle at each others stories about our moddas (mother) raising cain throughout our lives. Man! if the ground could swallow us whole for all the unwashed dishes, bad grades, missed curfews, terrible lies or even silly excuses to get a cut or bruise; we would not be here today. Despite their shortcomings, we have mothers who were determined not to fail.

Keren asked the general question which shifted the conversation. She asked, “Why do you think they were so hard on us to achieve levels of success and to become our own person?” My reply, “Because they were afraid.” [dead silence]

It’s a Generational thing

My mother confessed this to me many times in our raging or quiet conversations. “Dwayne (my middle name), I don’t know what I am doing half the time. However, what I do know is that I want you to be betta and not repeat my mistakes.” Pause… How many of us have heard a variant of this statement before? You must have! It is a parenting staple.

Most people don’t flinch having built their success and ochastrated their failures around their fears. My mothers struggled with the fear of shame and failure. My father, helplessness and failure. Myself, helplessness and failure. I believed her vision strongly. Why then, couldn’t I break the cycle?

Foundation Matters

The answer is quite simple. Either we lead a life by faith in a strong power, or be lead by our fears. Why don’t we raise cain, lead a march, placard or write a letter to president about the sandy foundation of fear our core values are built on? We all want good foundations to build a legacy on, right? Tell me what amount of success can change the fear deranged fragmented or broken person we avoid in the mirror daily? None.

I can openly admit that I didn’t understand how to believe that God created us in his likeness of power. Man’s need for things like greed, lust and debauchery have marred our perception of what true power really is. It is important to remember that Scriptures constantly reminds us that we were not created to be afraid, to be discouraged, or to be devoid of His presence (Josh.1:9).

A simple request from God is to believe what he says and to stay in his presence (1 Chr. 16:11). There is not a stationary blueprint to life to unravel its contents. Howbeit, He gave us the divine power we need for a Godly life to face the challenges of this world (2 Pet. 1:3-4). God knows some experiences in our lives designed to bring him glory and us peace on earth requires crazy faith. We have to debunker how we view matters of God. Flinching at his instructions doesn’t make our fears any less smaller (Is. 28:21).

How did it start?

We continued our table discussion on how I began building a citadel of success trying not to be my father. It wasn’t before long I realised that I had replicated his failures in my own way. I too was led by the same fears.

I am unforgiving of myself. Overplan to avoid failure; and sought out control over things or people I can trust. Created ridiculous rules of government at home or at work, devised new developmental program, new standardized protocol. Went out of my way to avoid connecting with people; all in effort to feel valued, to find peace and to feel prosperity.

Our Citadel of Fears

I created excuses for why things didn’t work out. I stayed away from home for long hours to avoid being judged into feelings of disappointment, helpless or hopeless by my family. Taking the opportunity to judge myself first was easier to prevent others from rejecting me or leave me feeling vulnerable. The fear of success was the stupidest. I have never had it or experienced it. Therefore in anticipation of success, I am in constant fear that I may blunder it when it comes. My father and I are good men spoiled by our own demise. If only we didn’t allow fear to spearheaded our decisions.

My way felt right to me and wasn’t amounting to destruction in my eyes (Prov. 14:12). Oh how wrong I was. Our intervention in the little restaurant in NOLA exposed how fragmented we were in our own way. If we wanted true peace, we had to come to terms that no amount miles we ran could separate us from our fears. Think about it. No matter where you find yourself in life, nothing can actually separate us from the power of God. That empty space we keep revisiting within us, was designed to be filled by Him.

Don’t flinch going forward

Fear is perhaps the most common human emotion that we experience. Awareness of fears are good, succumbing to fear can negatively alter our direction in life. Take responsibility to locate where we have positioned fear within us. It shouldn’t be a core value. It is a secondary response to life’s situations.

Road to recovery plan

  • Define Fear – This is the first step to awareness. Strong powerful values should consume us and not our fears.

Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is the product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist. That is near insanity. Now do not misunderstand me, danger is very real, but fear is a choice.” – Will Smith, After Earth

  • Decipher the fear –  Examples of fearful responses to situations are “stop, give up, duck and hide, or procrastinate”. Thoughts like these should not be first responders to any of our situations in life. This is an indication that we may have cognitive roadblocks hindering our progress. These are often referred to as core fears, caused by mild or grave traumatic experiences. These experiences can either be directly to us or indirectly happening around us. There are a few core fears at play within us plaguing our daily routines. Learn to pinpoint, the associated feeling and triggers linked to these fears. I can’t promise you that putting a handle on your core fears will make for a clutch performance against smacking that cockroach or standing up that snake teacher, coworker or boss. However, you won’t feel so powerless during moments of conflict.
  • Forgive yourself – empower yourself and move on. It’s a mistake. It doesn’t define you. Most of us didn’t know. Reset and relaunch your efforts.
  • Be consistent –  The greatest enemy of man is not even fear, it is disbelief. The moment we stop believing that God made us powerful, fear will creep in. No bone-deep conviction says we must make it on our own in these streets. This is not true. We all need some support. Don’t be foolish to think that we will never flinch again at the first opportunity to be afraid. We get lazy to reach for the remote. Why wouldn’t you get complacent against fear? The moment we are not eating from the source of our power, we are eating from our sins again (Rn 14:23). God used his son Jesus to establish a kingdom on earth by multiplying his efforts through making disciples. In renovating the foundation of our hearts and mind we ought to multiply likeminded people around us in trusted friends, family, religious novelties, and even professional counselling. Consistency has the power to rebuild our core.

Don’t flinch at what God has given us.

Written July 9, 2017, Revised 2021