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From CHAPTER 4 “MASKS”
Check out this excerpt of Randy’s new book, Finding My Voice: A Story of Grace, Hope and Healing – available now on Amazon.
Read along as Randy is moved by grace, restored by healing and transformed by hope.
Despite my success, my insecurities led to authoritative behavior that was rude and demanding. I wanted to be called Mr. Brewer. A colleague even observed, “Randy, you only order special meals on an airplane because you want to hear your name being called.” The reticent boy who hid in the gap by the dryer wanted to be a self-reliant, confident man for all to see. Insecurity, by definition, loves to overreact. What you are not, you want to prove you are. I couldn’t prop up from the outside something missing on the inside.
It’s the polar opposite of how God designed the human psyche. Individuality originates in the heart, and from the heart the world around us is influenced and changed. However, I couldn’t or wouldn’t embrace this. I had a false sense of being important. That had stoked the engine of my being. Throughout my early career, I kept fueling that fire. I wanted to look the part. I literally drove a sleek sports car.
I isolated myself in endless travel. My condo was not a respite but a pit stop. I always wanted back out on the track. There was little to stop this unhealthy course. My obsession with work led to my clients’ success, and for that I’m grateful. But I was coming apart. This spilled over into all my personal relationships. I had acquaintances, but not abiding friends. Why should I? True friendship meant transparency, even vulnerability. I would have none of that. At work, my relationships weren’t much better. I hired and managed poorly. Why attend to those around me when I prioritized attending to myself?
This went on for nearly two decades. I was adrift on a sea – cesspool really – of false pretense. I began propping up my deep-seated insecurities with distractions, compulsions and a false sense of importance. I engaged in several misadventures, finding myself asking God like David did: “Do not remember the sins of my youth…” (Psalm 25:7).
The French philosopher Pascal characterized it this way: “What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words, by God himself” (Blaise Pascal, Pensées VII, 425).
All my striving came to a head in Mexico. I was in my early 40s. Even though I had steered clear of alcohol up to this point, I binged, trying to keep up with 22-year-olds. In trying to be the coolest, I had become valueless. You could even say I was nauseatingly lukewarm as a person. My faith, at that time, was tepid as well. My hypocrisy was blatantly obvious to everyone, including myself.
I was adrift. I didn’t know where I belonged. This is when I began to become aware of the secrets that dwelled in the basement of my psyche…
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