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How to deal with failure – Part 2: Inner emptiness

Why is it called inner emptiness? There’s no way something inside you can be empty, after all. Fight or flight. I guess the inner emptiness comes from the notion that when everything around you falls to pieces, there should be some thing inside you on which to hold on to. Confidence. The knowledge that everything will be good. But your grasp reaches out and meets nothing.

Mastering the inner emptiness

And so I walk out of the doctor’s place, leaving behind an alienated redhead, and once more I am tempted to think: This is the price for disobeying, for wanting more than is granted to me, for wanting more than nothing. Quite literally I feel like I have to go to hell. Other men, they must have something to fall back onto. I don’t. I’m delivered.

But the inevitable thought comes up: If this emptiness is the feeling of failure, how can I possibly overcome it if not through success? I guess I never thought about overcoming it. I ran from it. I ran from it like I would run from hell. And those who had dared to confront it would carry on their sleeves the reminder of a place I was terrified of.

Yeah, I can run. I can avoid. I can obey and never try my luck again. But I realize that this is what I have been doing all my life long. And in the end, it has brought me closer to hell than I’ve ever been.

Envy is just hell’s way of saying: Come back. You cannot run away.

I wish I had learned to listen earlier.

We are brothers

So I start to understand why men are hard. They have to be, because they are fighting hell. They do not run. They do not eat until they forget. They do not seek comfort in being nice. But what I consider unbearable, they have long accepted as a part of life.

A warm and profound melancholy floods my senses. This is life? Fighting hell? Seeing how powerless, unlovable and pathetic I am and moving on with nothing but the vain hope that there has to be light? I always thought life would be a happy place. That I was special. I thought that I just follow my emotions and everything falls into place. Momma loved me, I had the proof. I was so fucking lovable that my mother would give herself up for me. And now I am alone, without friends, without love. What kind of logic is that? Fuck you, world!

I’m accepting the emptiness. I surrender to hell. If this is the hardship men talk about, I gladly accept them as my brothers. And I feel real, honest guilt for having looked down upon them for living the life I have been running from. For engaging a reality I was terrified of. They have known before me that the only antidote, the only way to alleviate the fire of hell, is success. Success fills the emptiness, for success lets you know that there is hope, that you can win, that hell is not almighty and can be tackled, that there is a light waiting for you even in the darkest of all moments. Success is what fathers must teach. To see the light in the dark. Is. Confidence.

But success is not a gift. It is not relative. You get what you want or you don’t. There can be no compromise if the resulting confidence is to be real. Men do not choose to be hard. Life has chosen for them.

Confidence has to be earned. It is not given to you by nature. And I can not rely on it yet.

They say I gotta learn, but nobody’s here to teach me,
If they can’t understand it, how can they reach me?
I guess they can’t; I guess they won’t
I guess they front; that’s why I know my life is outta luck, fool!

Gangsta’s Paradise, Coolio

Yeah, nobody teached me. Nobody teached me and I reach out for a guidance I didn’t have. But that is the past. There is Mike. There are others. Men I have not understood for I wasn’t one of them. They could tell me what to do, but they didn’t understand how I felt. But they do.

And if they don’t, it doesn’t matter.

Maybe the thing I call inner emptiness is nothing but the very fuel of life. It’s unbearable. And that would be life’s way of saying: Fix this. Because I will torture you until you do. Don’t even think you can take it.

But whatever it is, I know: If I can take this, I can take anything.

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