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Live each day as if it were your last. Someday, you'll be right.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Embracing Your Demons

We all have them. Our own personal demons.

Mine are voices in my head telling me things like,

"You'll never be good enough!" or
"Life isn't worth living!"


Being the analytical person I am, my first reaction is to create a spreadsheet and detail all of the reasons pro and con why either of these statements are true. One of my "talents" is being able to see both sides of an argument, so, unless I have an unmovable position or opinion on something, I will never finish arguing with myself.


When you fight your demons, you give them power over you. The fight itself is an acknowledgment of defeat. They have no power over you if you do not view them as your enemy. They are just THERE. They cannot hurt you unless you let them.

You are not abnormal if you have horrible thoughts or anxieties. EVERYONE has them...even the person you think is the most put-together, exemplary saint

Sometimes, perseverance in light of difficulty is the only secret to success.

Western psychotherapy has symptom reduction as its goal. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is "based on the view that the ongoing attempt to get rid of the 'symptoms' actually creates a clinical disorder in the first place."

Just as with the quicksand analogy, "struggling is the worst thing you can possibly do. The way to survive is to lie back, spread out your arms and float on the surface. It's tricky, because every instinct tells you to struggle; but if you do so, you'll drown."

You won't be able to relax and float on your demon quicksand unless you trust that I am telling you the truth. If you have ever tried to teach a child to swim, you can perhaps relate to what I am telling you. YOU know that you would never do anything to hurt them (i.e., drown them), but they are still petrified. It is a slow dance of hugging and wading close together, then moving apart ever so slowly. Each child is different, as are we.

Sometimes, we are simply afraid that other people will "find us out." Do you really think you are fooling anyone? Most likely, if you have a weakness or flaw, everyone around you knows. Embrace it. Own it. THEN DO BETTER. People will respect you more if you are authentic.

 "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall." -Proverbs 16:18
Reference: Harris, Russel; 2006. Psychotherapy in Australia, Vol. 12, No. 4, August.

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