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Take Back Control

Long walks at night are the best therapy, outperforming any session with a counselor and more potent than the most exemplary modern medicine. As I traverse these streets, my often infernally swollen temper is assuaged by the cool and calming Pacific breeze, and my mind involuntarily wanders.

At times a coursing, spontaneous EDM playlist rouses my senses, pounding primally in my expectant ears, abused horribly since adolescence by all manner of raucous music. Podcasts are another favorite, literal audiobooks, nourishing my ravenous brain with unique knowledge condensed from the experiences of the program's subjects. Less than 8 hours ago, Joe Rogan interviewed CT Fletcher, the original Iron Addict, on his revered show.

Relatively fresh on YouTube, I discovered it suddenly while searching for the latter pioneer by name, and when presented with this veritable  feast of priceless advice and stimulating conversation, I eagerly downloaded the video, devouring it on my nocturnal trek. On this occasion, CT spoke of a variety of things, from the standard bodybuilding and powerlifting advice that seems to be a requisite whenever he appears online, to personal family matters. I took particular interest when he spoke of his Father, Pastor Buddy Fletcher.

Now an unassuming 86, in his physical prime and later manhood he was an imposing boxer, standing 6'3" and 230 combat ready pounds. He and CT battled regularly, gripped in the heat of constant war. Needless to say, this did little to promote a healthy, loving bond, and bred an insidious, resilient animosity that would plague CT for decades. Following his 2nd heart attack at the age of 58, he took the sorely needed personal time he unknowingly craved to pause and reflect on all aspects of his life.

Understandably shaken, his bothersome brush with mortality brought to light certain facts he had neglected to notice. He extrapolated at length of how he would awaken randomly in a fervent aggression in the middle of the night, punching, kicking, clawing and grappling with empty air, internally reliving long dormant memories of skirmishes with his Father. Realizing that his anger, which he acknowledged he was too stubborn to relinquish, was harming only him and not his elderly Father, he sought out Pastor Fletcher to make amends.

What stood out at this point to me with alarming clarity was his method of seeking penance. One would expect him to barge in ferociously, eyes aflame with righteous anguish, demanding that his Dad apologize immediately for his past transgressions. He certainly wouldve been justified in this instance, as a quick and beneficial viewing of his documentary would prove. He took the opposite route, however, and in the process embodied even higher amounts of strength, faith and fortitude than he did prior, a feat I considered impossible, as I personally revere the man as a Demi-God and legend.

In the place of unrestrained hostility and an insatiable hunger for violent and redeeming vengance, he displayed moral courageousness and remarkable humility. Upon meeting with his Father, he declared that HE desired forgiveness FROM HIS DAD, for holding so much malevolence against him for such a prolonged period of time. He took ownership of the ugliest situation imaginable, and commanded it to be fixed. Ive read of similar happenings in several books, perhaps most potently when Geoff Thompson, Britain's most dangerous doorman, forgave the man who sexually abused him after a chance meeting in a diner several years later.

We've all been wronged, slighted, shorted and abused in some way. I won't discuss mine, and you're in no way forced to elaborate on yours. But still, a vital and valuable point has been exposed. A huge lie we labor under in today's decrepit society is that forgiveness is solely for the weak, the purview of the victim too pathetic to fight back.

It's all bullshit. Forgiveness can only be born, forged and created from a place of absolute, resolute strength, for it means noticing and confronting the unnecessary, poisonous pugnaciousness you harbor towards your attacker. In no fashion does this mean that you pretend nothing took place, strolling away with your thick skull floating amongst imaginary clouds. It instead represents a determined zeal towards accepting the reality that something negative happened to you and affected you, but instead of being passive and privately stewing, in some cases for decades, like CT, you proactively identify and declare war on the human potential for grudgebearing, admitting that all it does is drain you, while simultaneously granting YOUR power to the undeserving.

You forgive that person and move on. Whether you embrace lovingly in idealistic fashion, remain coldly professional and efficiently cordial, or cease all contact following the aforementioned moment is up to you and largely irrelevant. All that matters is the act of forgiveness, the personal acknowledgement that the pain, shame, anger and regret will have no tangible power over you anymore. As the adage goes, you forgive for yourself, not them.

Releasing and freeing stagnant anger is incredibly relieving and enlightening. Speaking from personal experience, you feel so weightless that you may suddenly fly up to Heaven, numb with the unbridled happiness flooding you so rapidly. I skulked around disabled and stunted for too long, fists raised up and mind clamped shut, until I powerfully screamed "NO MORE!".

There will always be repugnant energy whirling around us, emanating from the depraved, haunted and insane. To pretend otherwise would be lunacy, a kind of willful blindness, ignorant and vain. Our world is not perfect, and it never will be. We are perpetually and eternally awash in unexpressed fury and cretins radiating calamitous auras, infectious in their bestiality. But if we can master our inner world, we can obtain and ultimately become perfection itself.

Whether through passionate  religion or logical philosophy, rational reason or unknown mysticism matters for naught ultimately. All that's essential is that we arrive there. There will always be bastards with evil intentions parading around as innocent bystanders, and unfortunately we may not realize this horrible truth until we are spiraling in the despicable aftermath of unrelenting trauma. But we can never relinquish control. Take your life back.

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