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  • Writer's pictureStefan Neff

From Zero To Hero Chapter 19

Can This Be True

The moment of truth was coming. I could feel it in the air but I had no idea when it was going to show up. It rattled me and made me wary of everything.

One day I noticed that she seemed to be always writing something on her computer, often, late at night. So I started to get a little suspicious of what exactly she was doing on that frigging machine every single day. I couldn’t hold back my curiosity so I broke my silence with a direct question, “What the heck are doing while I am working so hard? You seem to be spending more and more time with the computer and less and less time with our family.”

She said, “I am writing a story about my life with you and how slimy you really are!!”

I said, “What are you talking about? Do you really need to tell everyone about how bad I am?”

She got very upset with me and said, “Why not? I have the right to speak my mind anytime I want and you can’t control me anymore. If you want to control me, then you can leave my house today! I am going to live my life for me and nothing is going to stop me from living the truth.”

I didn’t want to hold in my discomfort about what she said about me in her writings. I wanted to know much more. I hounded her until, with an apprehensive look on her face, she showed me what she had written.

She was writing a story about our relationship together, the good, bad and the ugly parts of who I was. My jaw dropped to the floor! I didn’t understand why she needed to bare this to the world. I felt naked and exposed.

I wanted to believe that I had been a great husband and father but what was the truth? The truth was, I didn’t want to accept who I really was inside. I was stuck with this old way of thinking. I thought that the only way I could get attention was for me to be strong and show no weaknesses at all. But that was an absolute lie. I wanted attention for my childish fears. I wanted to be coddled and to have my own way of things. I wanted to do whatever I want and have that accepted.

When I asked her to tell me exactly what had been written she told me the truth, and I mean the whole truth about everything she saw, experienced and had figured out. My jaw dropped to the floor with disbelief about how deeply she saw through me. It was like getting hit across the head with a 2 X 4 of the truth. She told me, “Stop lying to yourself, and live your life for you.”

I had no choice but to look myself in the mirror and ask hard questions. Was I looking at life as a glass-half-full or half-empty? I had definitely been looking at life half empty for many, many years. I realized that my life was an absolute lie. When I looked into the mirror what looked back at me was someone who I had despised all my life.

When I saw other people doing the same thing I was trying to get away with, I looked down at them as if they were mean and despicable human beings. And yet I wanted to be admired and respected even though I was guilty of doing the same things I judged them for. I looked deeper and saw my double standards, I saw the injustice I had treated others with, the cowardice that I demonstrated to the people I loved. I saw every time that I made choices thinking about my own selfish wants and desires while ignoring the wants and real needs of my family.

I was looking at all of my life logically and without judgment. Well, that was me alright. I didn’t really like what I saw. What I saw was someone who was truly unhappy with themselves and their lot in life. Someone who played the victim and always took the easy way out. Someone who wanted others to make his life easier and not depend on him for anything. Someone who didn’t take responsibility for his actions or how those actions hurt others. The light of truth was shining directly on me and it was a harsh reality check.

“Time for change,” I thought to myself. “But how am I going to do this without knowing how the outcome is going to unfold?” This was my pattern in life, being afraid to take a hold of something and just do it. I was afraid of the truth and that truth hurt me so much that I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror anymore.

Until I could become the man I knew I could be proud of, there was no point in pretending I was a victim of circumstances. It was time to make changes in my life that would help me become someone I could look in the mirror and genuinely like.

I hated that I didn’t know how things were going to turn out. Was I going to lose everything? Was I going to fail at being a good and decent person? Did I have the strength to let go of my selfish behaviours and consider others' feelings and perspectives? And if I did, would they take advantage of me and leave me with nothing?

How could I stand up for myself and take care of myself if I always had to think of others? It was a rocky and uncertain road and I wasn’t sure that I was ready for it, but the one thing I knew was that the way I had been in the past, had to end. It was holding me back from finding my true happiness in life and I was done with that.

What I didn’t know was what life would look like once I embraced this new way of being and how the heck would I figure out what steps I needed to take to get there?

In the Next Chapter, I will share - The Road To Clarity

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