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Notes from the Small Pond: CONFIDENCE… or lack thereof …

The best thing to do when you lose confidence in yourself is find it. Unless you’re not breathing, it’s in there, somewhere. Even in the meekest, most humble and fragile of us, the thing that makes us human — that certain self-consciousness, that self-awareness, that option we keep in the back pocket of our ego, that self-abasing, soul-roasting, self-loathing, catch-all, Ace Card: I suck, is proof positive that we’ve got the power to make decisions about how we manage our view of ourselves.

And we can also think otherwise of ourselves, not deserving it.

It risks hoisting up clichés and tropes all an-eye-roll to drag out the Old Chestnut about the externally most confident, the playground bullies and World Stage Monsters being the most insecure and lacking in confidence and self-worth, their cruelty and murderousness directly scaled to match the pin-sized shape of their Self.

But clichés are deemed so for the kernel of truth within them.

And Truths are deemed so for their lack of care being believed.

The world was once flat, don’tchya know.

And leeches cured cancer.

And virgins tossed into the mouths of volcanoes — that surely brought rain.

… As it is with one’s confidence — the Truth isn’t The Reality until it’s believed.

It takes confidence to have some and believe what it is.

And, as cliché as it sounds, whether from the lyrics of Rafi, the rhymes of Dr. Seuss, the sonnets of Shakespeare or the infinite loving touches parents have given to children and lovers given to beloved, since the dawn of time — the communication that “You’re Worth it,” and “I love you,” and, achingly … Please Believe Me … and killingly … “Don’t leave …. ”

It is the response to that ask, the asked-for decision to behave as a Beloved One, that is the birth of true confidence, whether buried beneath a million years of sin and suffering, or propped up as long with artifice and cunning — some cruel joke of a coldblooded fellow sufferer.

The Truth is in the beloved, whether the beloved believes it or not.

Please. Believe. Don’t Leave. Me ….

I’ve not yet met Mr. Putin. Who surely was born of his mother.

But I surely have met Mr. Satan. Who surely was born of none other,

All that is fearful and tortured,

The spawn of our nightmare awake;

We sit up and scream in the darkness, his

Flesh-Promise cold as the snake.

So when Putin and I make our meeting,

Someday, Somewhere far below

While the rest of you angels are singing above

Me and Vlad will give it a go.

And, though it sounds boasty and haughty,

I can’t help know what I know,

I will be glad

To have my hands on Old Vlad

His killing one helluva show.

Cloquet‘s Parnell Thill is a previous “Columnist of the Year” winner in Minnesota and author of “Killing the Devil and Other Excellent Tricks,” available online. His opinions are his own, as are a few of the moments he describes to make his point. Contact him c/o [email protected].

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