LANCing the Darkness

The definition of “Lancing” is to cut open with a sharp instrument. I believe Lance Armstrong lived up to his name. In more ways than one he destroyed all that he had achieved and has the world scratching its collective head wondering at his complete stupidity. I am part of that world.

The Lance Armstrong we knew seemed invincible. He overcame the odds of being deserted by his father as a boy. He began his athletic career at the young age of twelve and achieved tremendous success in this area. He fought and overcame testicular cancer and then went on to compete further, making him a huge role model for others struggling with debilitating situations. He won consecutive cycling titles – albeit now stripped from him. He created organizations to help cancer and other victims. So what would possess him to tempt fate and jeopardize his reputation, achievement, fame and fortune?

I believe it’s the part that was diminished by him and the rest of us who wanted to focus on all that we thought was “good”. The mess inside that created the drive to constantly strive to achieve more no matter the cost. The desire to focus on something in an effort to obliterate something else.

Apparently, during his glory days Lance, desperate to believe and have us believe the charade he presented; threatened, coerced, bribed and destroyed anyone who might have tried to unravel his myth. Unfortunately he had the money, the power and the fame to get away with it – at least for a (long) while. As in the case of serial killers, Lance believed he was unconquerable. In the end however, the truth WILL prevail. As Abraham Lincoln allegedly said “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.”

Isn’t it easy to look at the Lance Armstrongs and Bernie Madoffs of this world, consider their calculated and eventually destructive moves – and think: “This is so far removed from me”?  However, I believe like Lance we too can easily live a farce if we do not deal with whatever venom we have inside of us – inserted either by someone else’s offense or our own error. Poison unchecked, generates more poison. I believe it is imperative to uncover the truths that can cause our self destruction and worse, the destruction of those around us.

Here are some indicators that we have some unresolved poison within us:

  1. I keep a distance from others – most relationships I have are superfluous
  2. I wear masks; think I am superior (false pride) or use humor as a front
  3. I crave adulation and approval and lack self esteem
  4. I am unable to take constructive criticism
  5. I have trouble saying sorry
  6. I fly off the handle (often pretending “I don’t get angry”)
  7. I blame others, am bitter or complain incessantly
  8. I want to get even (tendency to vindictiveness)
  9. I run others down in order to boost myself up
  10.  I live in victim or martyr mode

In his book – “It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life”, Lance Armstrong writes, I wished hard, but I didn’t pray. I had developed a certain distrust of organized religion growing up, but I felt I had the capacity to be a spiritual person, and to hold some fervent beliefs. Quite simply, I believed I had a responsibility to be a good person, and that meant fair, honest, hardworking, and honorable. If I did that, if I was good to my family, true to my friends, if I gave back to my community or to some cause, if I wasn’t a liar, a cheat, or a thief, then I believed that should be enough. At the end of the day, if there was indeed some Body or presence standing there to judge me, I hoped I would be judged on whether I had lived a true life, not on whether I believed in a certain book, or whether I’d been baptized. If there was indeed a God at the end of my days, I hoped he didn’t say, “But you were never a Christian, so you’re going the other way from heaven.” If so, I was going to reply, “You know what? You’re right. Fine.”

If Lance Armstrong really believed he was “doing good”, he was delusional. Blinded by his ego, he caused pain and destruction in the lives of his kids and so many others around him. We too, will cause pain and destroy those around us if we do not stop and take a good look inside. Lancing our lives to isolate the darkness will enable us to move on to becoming the blessings and light that we are created to be. Understanding who we are, why we are or act a certain way, is the first step toward the rest of a future that is life giving and sustaining – the way it was meant to be. It’s NEVER too late.

1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of His own, so that you may announce the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.”

Marisa Pereira

By

Marisa Pereira is a mother, fashion designer, currently runs a Design and Image Consulting business in Atlanta, GA, is a freelance writer and volunteers at her church and in the community. She holds a BA in Fashion Design and a BA in French with a minor in Psychology and has worked in the Fashion Industry for over twenty years. Frustrated at her inability to find appropriate church clothes for her 14 year old daughter, she heeded God’s call, and created the stylish but modest, Michaela-Noel clothing collection, now available on-line. Having lived in multiple countries, she is acutely aware of the emphasis cultures place on visual appeal. She analyzes the importance of presenting the best image of ourselves and passionately insists that it starts within. She regularly addresses adult and youth audiences – encouraging and teaching them to make a memorable first impact but more importantly - to create a lasting impression. Her websites are: www.mpcimage.com and michaela-noel.com.

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  • Anonymous

    Excellent! Pondering your list of indicators and will continue to do so over the next few weeks. Thank you.

  • frank farrell

    Very timely. When we get past the head scratching we are well served to find the unresolved reasons behind the self destruction – in ouselves as well. It appears the entire sport of cycling is infested with performance ehancing drugs (PEDs). Perhaps Lance justified his actions with the “every body does it” excuse. From what I have read Lance Armstrong did it (cheated) better than anyone else so it is possible his success, like the success of Barry Bonds, is a fraud from the get-go. While I can see gettting caught up in the win at all costs mentality, I don’t understand going so far as to to destroy others – people he knew were telling the truth.

  • authenticdude

    Pro biking is a money and prestige sport – I was so totally unsurprised by this news. Evan as a biking enthusiast, I felt this way. Maybe this view was enhanced by the (ficion) movie, Breaking Away-ha(!). We can’t believe in “Supermen” (or women) anywhere in life. It seems to me you get so many grants of talent or energy in life, and it is how you spend them that matters. You can’t be head-of-the-class in all categories, or even in many. I laugh because I remember seeing an article trying to find out why Lance was so successful, due to some physiological advantage. Beyond steroids, Lance was deemed the Golden Child in US biking, and to this end had dozens of sacrificial team-members playing strong defense and offense for him – to assure he won. They were NOT to win. That’s biking. Well, I see many people around me that want it all, crushing people around them on a daily basis – adult bullying behavior or calculating aloofness. To have it all is actually to make sure we never get bigger than our relationship with God. Time and time again I learn this lesson – “grace is sufficient for me.” And, “only He satisfies.” May we hold each other up in Christ-like lives, in faith. Peace.

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