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The first step toward conquest is to acknowledge that the problem exists. The second step is to seek help. Let Marcos lead the way. He has inspired millions with his songs and his sermons. Now let him inspire you with his words.
Understand and Conquer
Nothing in life is to be feared.
It is only to be understood.
-- MARIE CURIE
SNAKES AND LADDERS
The sensation I felt was much more than simple fear or fright: It was pure terror! It was a night like any other, nearing time to go to sleep in the bedroom I shared with my two brothers. After dinner and helping with a few household chores, I was getting ready to climb the stairs to our bedroom. It was not a big house. I lived there with my parents, my two brothers, and my twin sisters. Just three bedrooms and one and a half baths. My sisters shared the room next to my parents' on the first floor. On the second floor, there was a big room that we used for playing, reading, and studying. Normally, this was what you would call "the TV room," but there was no television. Crossing over, you arrived at the door to our bedroom, with its half bath and the bunk beds where my brothers and I slept. To reach the second floor, you had to open a door to one side of the kitchen and climb a flight of stairs. These stairs were no more than slabs of concrete held up by iron brackets. Between each step, you could see the darkness beneath the stairs, a space where my mother stored things. We rarely accessed this space and didn't have much desire to enter it.
One night, I confidently opened the door that led to the second floor, noting that the hallway light was off. I thought nothing of it because I knew there was a light switch next to the stairs that I could turn on. What happened next was something that has remained etched in my memory. When I put my foot down on the first step, I felt movement under the stairs. My eyes were drawn to the darkness beneath them. Once I realized something out of the ordinary was happening, my heart started beating fast. Suddenly, I saw a hand reach out from between the steps and grab my ankle. I let out a terrifying scream that could be heard all the way down the block. My two brothers had hidden themselves among the boxes underneath the stairs and waited patiently to play their scary prank.
Thirty-two years have passed since that day (I am forty-three years old as I write this) and I can still feel the anguish of that horrible moment. I collapsed on the floor, my body shaking like a leaf in the wind, my breathing rapid and short, my heart beating a mile a minute. The only sound louder than the beating of my heart was the laughter of my brothers, who found their act very funny. I can assure you that very few times in my life have I felt such absolute panic. After that incident, I mounted those stairs with true anxiety, and I always made sure, before going up, that there was no one hiding beneath them.
We all have our own stories, right? Vivid moments, dark memories, moments of panic and total distress. Life gives us thousands of opportunities to face our fears. There's no way around it. It's part of our daily existence. However, what we do with these opportunities determines whether we will overcome our fear or keep on living within its chains. Many people live completely controlled by their fears, doubts, phobias, anxieties, bad omens, and bouts of nerves. But it doesn't have to be that way. There is good news: We can live in freedom! We can live calmly, safely, and without fear of anyone or...