How many of us wrestle with the Beast of Terror each day and lose?
How many times do we feel Fear, Intimidation and Complacency pin us to
the mat, and surrender to the Beast of Terror because we are tired of
fighting him or her and losing? Maybe it's time to get an umpire
and step back from the battle. Maybe it's time to stop fighting
in the dark and live in the present. Find out how we can
Friday, March 5,
2004—Ground Zero Plus 905
Umpiring The Beast Of Terror Within
GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Mar. 5, 2004 -- Once a week I go see a
doctor whose job is to umpire the battle I fight daily with the Beast
I call him Dr. Ron.
He's one of the world's experts on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and
I'm one of his patients.
One of the reasons I go
to Dr. Ron is because every day of my life I fight the Beast of Terror
in the Ring of Vigilance. I try to pin the Beast to the
mat. I try to expose the Beast for what he is in hopes the
audience will see the Fear, Intimidation and Complacency that
comprises his being, and refute it with the Pledge of Vigilance.
dragon eats the knight
Dr. Ron reminds me
that sometimes the dragon eats the knight.
demons is dangerous. So is swimming with sharks, or feeding
alligators in hopes you won't be eaten.
Demons are like
cockroaches. Long after everything else is destroyed, the
cockroaches survive, scuttling about the cracks and crevices of the
earth while the bones of the "higher forms" of life bleach in the sun.
Dr. Ron is
blunt in his approach. He tells me that my battle with the
Beast is hopeless as a form of resolution, for I am trying to right
the wrongs of the past, and the past is history.
reminds me "Life must be lived in the NOW"
more concerned about the present and the future. He says
that life must be lived in the NOW.
likens the battles with the Beast as "revenge" against the violations
of the past. It's like holding a grudge against some action or
deed from someone or something in yesterday's world, and dragging the
events of the past into the present, and trying to kick and scream and
pound until the past is changed, the violation is revenged, the
thrive on the past, for they are safe in the shadows of history.
They are, in fact, according to Dr. Ron, invincible since one cannot
change the past or paint over it. Like the night
swallowing the day, the past is lifeless in terms of reality, and
takes the form of haunting memories and desperation of the mind to
reverse history while ignoring reality, the present.
Dr. Ron is a demon umpire. His job is to untangle my
arms and legs that are all wrapped around the scales of the Beast,
trying to pin him to the Mat of Vigilance. The more I
fight the Beast, the stronger the Beast becomes because he feeds on my
anger, my resentment, my thirst to revenge his violence, his
unconscionable attacks on the innocent whom he revels in striking with
Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.
"Easy, Mr. McKenzie," Dr. Ron says. "Easy."
The big question Dr. Ron dangles before my mind's eye is "Where am I
fighting the Beast?" Am I back in the past trying to
right wrongs throughout history? Or, am I in the present
dealing with the daily, practical aspects of Terrorism and Vigilance?
feeds on our suffering from the pains of victim-hood
The past, Dr. Ron, reminds me, is a trap. The more we go
back into time to try and salve the wounds inflicted by the Beast, the
more blind we become to the present. Our lives go on hold.
Reality ceases to exist as we attempt to pin the greased body of the
Beast whose domain is the shadows of history, who can slip into the
darkness like a river eel, slithering into the muck and mire of our
minds. He or she can hide from us because we are wrestling in his
or her territory not
ours--in the quagmire of guilt and shame of past events, in the muck
of resentments and pains of victim-hood, in the anger and rage of
helplessness to alter events beyond our control.
Some people never escape the shock of certain events. The
intimidated child may never feel like anything other than faded
wallpaper, or like a doormat upon which the footsteps of the world
stomp and wipe as they pass from opportunity to opportunity upon the
intimidated child's back.
The child shocked by fear of his or her self worth may unjustly
elevate others value and depreciate their own, taking no risks for
fear of failing and reinforcing the Beast's whispering Voice:
"Loser! Failure! Nobody!"
Complacency, the Beast roars victorious
Complacency, the ultimate surrender of the soul to the Beast, may have
crusted the shell of the human spirit shut. In this
Complacency, the Beast roars victorious for if there is a death
sentence issued by the Beast to the victims, it is to force the them
to sit in the audience and watch the play unfold without reaction, as
mutes, showing no reaction, taking no sides of the events.
"It's not my business. I'm not qualified. I have
other things to do that are more important." "Who cares?"
I think I can change the way the world thinks about the Beast of
Terror. I believe I can shift the emphasis from Complacency to
Right Actions for the benefit of future generations, or alter the
degree of Fear one feels in certain situations with a boost of
Courage, or shim up one's Conviction to stunt the towering sensation
of Intimidation that befalls those of us who think less of ourselves
than we should.
Dr. Ron tells me, reminds me, the best I can be is a messenger.
I cannot change anyone. He takes the power of change from
my hands. At the best, I am a billboard or a spot news
broadcast issuing warnings to people who have a thousand other mundane
issues to deal with rather than looking up at the sky to see when it
is slated to fall.
My battle with
the Beast consumes me
understand. My battle with the Beast consumes me.
It takes away the reality of daily life, it pins me to the Beast's mat
where I cannot win for I am blinded by my thirst to revenge the past
and ignore the present.
tells me to move out of the ring. He reminds me the battle
is not a battle at all, where one wins or loses, but a process, as he
calls it, a learning experience from which we grow in harmony with
life itself. He reminds me that I owe it to myself, my
family, my children and the world to think in terms of "being part of"
the present, and not retreating into the past where my soul is
consumed with a fruitless hammerlock on the Beast who can, at any
moment, toss me out of the ring because I am battling him on his soil,
in the quicksand of the past where revenge, resentment, anger, rage
and retribution create the firmament of Terrorism.
I no longer
have to be a Gladiator of Vigilance
I listen to Dr.
Ron. It is hard to accept what he says, for that means I
must leave the ring. It means I can no longer be a
Gladiator of Vigilance because I have lost simply in trying to defeat
But I can be a
messenger. I can remind people that Vigilance is a key to
happiness, just as looking both ways before one crosses the street is
a key to happiness. I do not have to remind people of the
horror of the sound of a car crushing a child's fragile body, or make
them visualize the splattering of the child's organs against the
chrome grill to make my point.
"Look before you leap,"
might be all that is necessary, suggests Dr. Ron.
Thus, I am free to live life without being trapped in a Ring of Terror
from which all my Vigilance holds can never pin the Beast.
says Dr. Ron. "Living in today and tomorrow is tricky.
The past is easy. It is a safe place with no challenges, no
debates. The present and future are risky. We
can make mistakes. If you live in the past, you are
hiding from the real human power--the power of making mistakes, the
power of learning from trial and error. Life is about
exploring the unknown, not living in the known. Don't hide in
the belly of the Beast."
thought about Dr. Ron's comments.
delude one's self to the point where fighting Terrorism is not about a
battle at all, but rather about digging a grave?
Am I like a
flailing frog? Is time passing me by?
Are those of
us who seek to right the wrongs of the past, or consider ourselves the
standard bearers of Truth and Justice frogs caught in a cream pail hoping that one day our flailing frog feet will churn the cream
into butter so we can stand up and shout: "See, I told you so.
This liquid is really solid."
And, while we
are flailing our feet, time has passed so that people no longer churn
their butter, but buy it at the store. And we, the frogs
flailing our legs, are now out of jobs, lost in the progress of time.
Is this what Dr. Ron was telling me? That maybe it's time
to jump out of the vat of cream and live life on life's terms?
reminds me we all need umpires
I'm glad I go
to Dr. Ron. I feel the need to have someone separate me
from the grip of the Beast. Sometimes I feel the Beast is
suffocating me, employing "dirty tricks" to foil me into thinking I am
really winning while the Beast cajoles in glee that I am being sucked
deeper into the depths of his lair, further trapped by my belief I am
able to pin him alone, on my terms.
reminds me we all need umpires.
reminds me the Pledge of Vigilance is not a Pledge of Terrorism.
I forget that sometimes.
remember it the next time I climb into the ring with the Beast.