On my journey to understanding myself and gaining a better life, I often listen to podcasts. It‘s very handy and allows me to hear discussions and thoughts about humanity and the issues I am facing. One such podcast was the discussion between Russel Brand and Jordan B Peterson about addictions and various other related topics. Listening to their conversation, and especially Mr. Brand’s take on it, sparked me to do my own inner inventory.
The word cowardice has such a bad taste to it, doesn’t it? Nobody would want that to be their main description. Yet, when I made my inventory of things that are keeping me from my desired life, I found that that dreadful word was on the top of my list. I had to face reality – my cowardice hinders me more than any other trait in my toolkit of doom.
What is cowardice though?
To me, it is the constant avoidance, the looking away from things I know I should not turn from. Shunning the truth or standing on the side of what is good and in line with the Cosmic Order. Cowardice is turning away from everything, including yourself, and willingly allowing the Chaos to take you into its cacophonic abyss.
One of the signs of my cowardly persona is seeking to avoid anything that objects to my fragile worldview. I would look for all the possible ways out of uncomfortable situations, places, and times colored by my Borderline Personality. When perceptions twist, and everything is an enemy, it’s extremely difficult for me to stand up and oppose Chaos. It is terrifying, paralyzing, and entirely out of my league.
I’d go out of my way to not even approach situations that I thought might be out of my comfort zone. That is why, as is evident from my early adulthood, I never moved anywhere in life. I was perpetually stagnant, stuck in a tower of my own making as much as being a prisoner of my situation and the people I had allowed into my life. With avoidance, comes stasis. At some point in our lives, we must take up courage, and face the storms, and the Chaos. Or we must embrace Misery.
Fearing Conflicts, Pleasing People
A key part of avoidance, for me and many others, is the constant fear of conflicts. Any kind of disruption to the pristine image in which I was living had the potential to bring everything down. Illness, accidents, people, even myself, everything was a danger to my life and potential conflict to avoid at all costs. It’s difficult to live like that, the stress will eventually catch up no matter how much you go chanting om in your downtime.
Always considering everyone else’s wants and desires over yours in that desperate attempt to not get caught by the swirling winds of dislike is not a good life. But as a Borderline, the fear of those I hold dear abandoning me often takes over everything else. And at that point, it is very difficult to go against what has become my second nature.
It’s not only the people pleasing and neglecting myself, no. It was also the immense pressures in my own life that I tried to avoid at all costs. What if I fail? Now that’s a question for us to ponder. When life has nothing to offer for someone as depressed and chaotic as the past me, the possibility of failure seems enormous. And dangerous. As well as something I ought to definitely not get into no matter what. So, I started avoiding my own life, and my aspirations. If only due to not wanting to face the conflicting future I might have when compared to my fantastical version of it.
Inability to accept the future
Cowardice is a fascinating thing, it has so much power over today’s society. It got me mixed up in it as well. Uncertainty, finances, wars, everything seems stacked against us. By nature, Life is going to throw tons of painful things at us, but that is just how it is. It’s not as if the Gods of fate and fortune are smirking at our misery, ready to pour down more hell for us when things get too good.
Life is never black and white, and we will always have both agony and ecstasy. I think it is up to our perceptions and attitudes how we come out of these situations. Whether we fall into Chaos or remain vagrant in the face of it all. This, I had to eventually accept. The grand duality of everything, the possibilities of both good and bad in my future.
I didn’t do that before my whole world got shattered, and I had to start rebuilding it. May it not go that way for you, my dear reader. The future of me, you, and humanity as a whole may seem terrifying, and undesirable. But my friends, it is coming for us whether we like it or not. Turn your eyes to the fact that there are gifts in the middle of the muddied waters as well. Accept those with the muck, without allowing the dirt to make you blind to the wonders and possibilities of your possible future.
Cowardice is my biggest bane, and my greatest foe to tackle. Of course, it is not always a hindrance, either. I’d think trying to avoid actually dangerous situations would be good, but then again healthy caution is not really cowardice.
My understanding is that fear is a necessary feeling. Not only that, but it’s also one of the body’s methods of telling us about the situations we are in. This is a natural part of humanity. It comes from the primal instinct of not wanting to die. Cowardice, on the other hand, has to do with the outside, other people. It sneaks into your mind and starts asking questions like ‘Are they judging me?’, ‘What if they don’t like me?’, and ‘Will I fail? That would be humiliating with them watching…’.
So perhaps, you could do a test to see if you too have a coward living inside you. Are you afraid because you have an actual reason to be afraid,? Or are you trying to avoid something because of the people related to the situation? Either way, may we all have the courage to face the fear because without facing it, it will never yield. It will only grow until eventually, you will find yourself in the teeth of a different beast, one you summoned yourself from the Chaos of your very own mind.
Last Updated 23/05/2023