Chapter 11 – Battle 3, Part 2

Self Hate stands before me – wings unfurled into that amazing wingspan, standing up on its long legs – all while that stare bears down on me. The audience jumping, clapping and chanting “Self” and “Hate” in perfect unison. War drums beat with vigor.

What do I do? How do I proceed? How do I not fail?

I raise my head and stare back. I walk towards Self Hate. My stride is weak; my stare is hesitant. Self Hate just stands there and continues its stare – wings out wide. An aura of supreme confidence surrounds Self Hate.

I continue my approach getting more nervous as I get closer – I have one move – a deciding move – one that will determine the outcome of this battle.

I stop inches away from the overwhelming size of Self Hate – its size shakes my soul. I am tiny compared to Self Hate. I am weak. I am an unworthy opponent. To think I could battle Self Hate after a single victory over the Depression family. Self Hate chose wisely to crush my soul now. Self Hate isn’t worried about indifference – indifference isn’t enough to defeat Self Hate.

Self Hate stares down at me, awaiting my move – Self Hate will not attack – just wait – wait for an attack or wait for my surrender.

I execute one simple move – the move that will decide my fate. I hug Self Hate. I hug with all my might, all my strength, all my love, all my compassion, everything I have.

The audience gasps. The drums fall silent. Self Hate is shocked and doesn’t know what to do. It shoves me away, but there is weakness in the push. I fall back but notice that Self Hate hasn’t moved. I stand up quickly and rush towards Self Hate. A massive wing tries to brush me away, but I duck underneath in my sprint and hug Self Hate again – this time holding even tight. Self Hate tries extracting me and my hug, but I feel weakness in that attempt. I feel Self Hate’s waistline getting smaller. The resistance weakens. I look up; Self Hate is shorter, and the wings are smaller. I muster all my compassion, all my strength, all my growth into the hug.

I can hear the audience panic, but their panic weakens as the demons weaken. Self Hate gets smaller and smaller as my embrace gets tighter and tighter. I can even wrap my arms all the way around Self Hate. I can see over its head and look at the audience. All the demons are vomiting. Vomiting their strength, vomiting their size, vomiting their power. With each retch, they get smaller. The demons are shrinking in front of my eyes as I embrace Self Hate – as I feel compassion to Self Hate – as I feel compassion for all my feelings – compassion for all my demons. As I feel compassion for myself.

Self Hate’s strategy failed – a victory by Self Hate would permanently defeat me. A loss by Self Hate is a complete and utter victory for me.

The Lost Loves and Dead Friends are perplexed. They scurry out of the coliseum before they see more of the show. The demons muster up their remaining energy and run off to their cages – happy the locks keep me out – keep my strength out – keep my victory out.

I finally release Self Hate. I smile – Self Hate’s stare is that of fear, that of failure. I see the look in its eyes – am I going to nod my head in victory and place its skull on the victor’s wall. I pick Self Hate up in its weakened state – I can feel it trembling in my hands. I walk out of the coliseum and put it in its cage.

When I close Self Hate’s door, I feel exhausted. Conquering Self Hate is enough for tonight. I will return – return a new man – return as my full self – self in control – self in charge. As I walk up that long set of stairs out of my catacombs, I wonder what to do next.