The four horsemen of my personal apocolypse are Ego, Anger, Fear, and Lust. Every problem and defect in my life has involved several of these four. They take on different faces, but it's always them that are in charge. Unlike the Four Horsemen of the Apocolypse in the Bible, these are not soverign individuals, each with their own domain. No, my horseman are a team and work together extemely well. As a group, the are way more effective and formidable than the sum of their parts.
Ego is nothing more than an unrealistic sense of importance or relevance. If ego is like thinking that the Sun, Moon, and the universe revolve around the Earth, then humility is realizing that the Earth is just one piece of a larger system and not the center of it. My ego tells me that I am one in a million instead of one of a million. My ego often manifests itself as perfectionism and a need to control outcomes. All of this is based on fear.
My anger is nothing more than my inability to accept not getting what I want or not getting my own way. My ego tells me I am smart, and smarter than other. Therefore my opinions are correct and logic. I should be in control because I know best (or at least better than you). How else would I react when the world doesn't go along with it, or dare question or oppose it? My anger comes from my ego and that is based on fear.
There is much truth to the saying that fear is "false evidence appearing real". All fear is self created and self imposed. Fear is my own prison. It's the puppet master of all of my other horseman (demons). Fear is a seed that was planted, long before I can remember. It was born out of an event that happened long before I can remember and when I was too young to process and understand it. It caused me to doubt myself and think less of myself (or more of others). Over the years it grew into an impressive wilderness and ecosystem that effects every thought, opinion, and reaction. It uses my ego to tell me that I am fearless and therefore not to realize that the fear it there inside me. It uses anger to prevent me from ever facing my fears. Ironically, fear has my ego set unrealistic and unachievable expectation for myself and others and uses anger to respond to when those expectations are not met. The dissapointment (anger) and shame (ego) that results in falling short, nurishes my fear. Fear It is the foundation of all of my defects of character, yet it is not real.
For me, Lust is the offspring of my Ego, Anger, and Fear. Is it the uncontrollable, addictive part of my nature. The excess. It the selfish self-indulgences that I use as coping mechanisms for the problems caused by the first three. It's usually sexual lust, but includes all forms of cravings and gluttony. My lust, or cravings, are how I make my self "feel better" as my Ego, Anger, and Fear beat me down. Sex and alcohol are my two favorite "medicines", followed by over-indulgence in sugar, caffine, and fantasy. My Lust is also how I escape. They represent a fake world in my head where everyrthing is alright (or at least I no longer give a damn).
The first three of these horseman led me to the forth. The four of them led me alcohol. Alcohol acted like "Miracle Grow" fertilizer for the four of them. I grew them, I nurtured them, used them and perfected them. They served me well at first. At some point, and I don't know when, they grew bigger than me and they turned on me. I became powerless over them and began to serve them. The master became the servant and the servant became the master. Funny thing is that the Bible say that is how it goes.
Only the mercy and devine will of God can free me now.
It's taken me a lifetime to identify them and only God knows how long it will take for me to let them go.