Facing your demons and shadows
Don’t look back but someone is watching you. You look back and it’s dark and creepy and it’s pulling you in. Like the scary forest in Snow White. Do you go through the forest or do you run away? If you run away you can live in the Happily Ever After Land but the dark forest will always be there. If you go through the forest you will face all of your fears and if you survive you won’t have anything to be scared of anymore. You’ll know that the forest can’t hurt you anymore.
We all have demons and shadows that we hide. We show our best side, trying to look happy and successful. Then there are those things that happened and thoughts that we don’t like to talk about. Pretending like it never happened and hoping those memories just disappear. But the memories don’t go away. They resurface here and there, sometimes unexpectedly and sometimes triggered. We’re left with feelings of guilt, shame, pain or unworthiness. The only way to heal those feelings is to face what happened, forgive and let go. In order to let it go, we need to accept that it happened. We need to face our demons and shadows. It’s not to place blame on anyone. We may feel guilt for what happened or angry at someone else for what happened. We have to forgive our part and others. The body is sacred and the heart is pure. It doesn’t matter what happened in the past. The body sheds it’s skin and creates new skin. The skin will regenerate itself every 27 days (webmd.com) The body makes millions of new blood cells every second. Renewing itself by making brand new cells. A new beginning starts every day. We will make mistakes and we will fail and learn from it and become better because of it. Let’s start today, freed from the shackles of the past, free to make our own choices, and free to change what we don’t like in our life. Let’s start today, understanding our strength and power to overcame so many obstacles in life. We can lay our head down tonight knowing that we can start fresh tomorrow, a new person, made of pure love, the courage of a lion, and the strength of a bull. Whatever challenges come in our way are there to teach us something. We can let those challenges give us strength. We won’t let the bad feelings cripple us in fear. There are coping mechanisms to work through the stress so it doesn’t become too overwhelming. We will use healthy methods to release stress and not unhealthy methods of numbing the bad feelings. Stress is good. It gives us strength. We will have gratitude in the process of the good and the bad, the dark and the light of life.
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Facing your negative emotions
Stress is good for you. You need stress for growth. People want to numb the pain with alcohol, drugs, medication, food, and money.
“You feel stressed out? Let’s go out for a drink.”
If you push those bad feelings away because it’s uncomfortable and it hurts then you will never learn and grow from it. You need to face your demons and shadows. Some people at times feel it’s too overwhelming where they just want to end their life to end the pain. But it does get better, even though people say that all the time and it never seems true when you’re going through it. You are strong enough to get through any difficulty. You will prove to yourself that you are strong enough because time after time, you will overcome every negative emotion. You will face your demons and not be scared. You look back at your shadow and not run away. You will sit in the darkness, knowing that there will be light again.
To feel the good emotions you need to feel the bad emotions.
If you push those bad feelings away, you aren’t building the strength to get through those feelings.
They will always be there- coming out unexpectedly causing you to feel uncomfortable and in pain. It may cause you to fall apart because the pain is too much or you may try to numb it and push those feelings away. If you don’t face those uncomfortable feelings you will never build the strength to be okay with those feelings. It will always be too much to handle. Your anxiety goes up and you want something external like medications or addictions to numb those feelings.
But if you face it and you accept what happened and you sit in the bad emotions you become stronger. Your mind will understand that there will be dark days but it won’t stay dark forever. Just as there is day and night, summer and winter, life is continuously changing, you will feel happy at times and you will feel sad sometimes. Your mind will realize that those bad feelings will pass and you’ll be okay. You are strong enough to get through the pain. You don’t need to drink your pain away or pretend that you never have pain. The dark days will come and on the other end the light is shining through. As you learn to face the dark side, the darkness won’t linger as long. The darkness will come but it’s not scary. You won’t feel like your life is out of control. You won’t wonder if you’ll be able to get through it because you will know that you are strong enough to withstand anything. Your mind is better prepared and building strength through the ups and downs. You can appreciate your strength for getting through it all because you are still here to experience another day.
It’s not about focusing on who’s fault it is. Instead, you can think about what you learned or how you grew from it. How has it changed you?
Accept that it’s in the past and it can no longer hurt you unless you let it. Forgive yourself and others. Sometimes we can be so hard on ourselves. We have high expectations and are expected to always succeed. We want to be perfect and happy all the time and let’s not forget rich and successful. Women need to be the perfect wife, mother and caregiver of their parents and in-laws. In reality, we will never be perfect. So give yourself grace. Love yourself in your talents and your flaws. You are a great person even though you make the wrong decisions at times, even though you fail sometimes, and you are great even through your worst mistakes. Because your actions do not make you who you are. Your heart is who you are. Those times that you made someone laugh to cheer them up. That time you held someone who was crying. When you gave someone a few dollars even though you were financially struggling. You have a pure and good heart so forgive yourself for not being perfect. When you learn to forgive yourself, you’ll learn to forgive others. We treat others the way we treat ourselves. So love yourself, have grace, compassion, patience, and forgive yourself. Then treat others with the same unconditional love.
Are you taking accountability for your actions with any bad experience? Understanding what you did wrong and where you went wrong. Such as, reflecting on why you are arguing with the person you love. Contemplate on what you can do differently and better next time. If you realize your part then you can try and prevent repeating the same mistakes.
Try not to identify yourself with your flaws but try and improve them. Such as saying, “Well that’s just how I am. I have a bad temper. Love me and accept me for who I am or leave.”
This is not true. You are not your flaws. Your flaws are not an excuse for your mistakes. You can change and work on yourself to be a better, wiser, more compassionate person.
Coping with fear
Has this situation caused you to fear?
Is that fear beneficial to you, does it help you make better decisions, does it keep you safe, does it interfere with your happiness?
If your fear doesn’t benefit you then it’s time to work on changing this. Be patient with your feelings and accept them. Accept that it’s in the past and does not relate to this moment. You’re a different person, stronger and wiser. You grew from your past and you are no longer that person in that moment. Your body renews itself. You are constantly changing, rebuilding and renewing. What is your fear? Is this a legit fear or a false fear? If this fear has potential to manifest then how can you prevent it? Such as making safe choices and healthy choices. Doing what you can to keep yourself healthy and safe. Is preventing your fear in your power? If not then it’s time to release some energy, do what makes you feel better, find your coping mechanisms, walk, run, exercise, meditation, breathing exercises, read, journal, watch a funny movie, spend time with loved ones, or pray. Such as a fear of someone breaking into your house. You can do what’s in your power of keeping the doors locked or having a security system. Whatever other possibilities of someone breaking into your house is not in your power. It doesn’t help to continuously think about it happening so fill your mind with something else by using a coping mechanism that works for you.
Take action in what you have control over. Potentially things can go wrong and you may imagine these scenarios repeatedly in your head. You can also imagine all the things that can go right. Believe that you are prepared and so things will go right. Replace the thoughts of things that can go wrong with things that can go right. Such as replacing thoughts of getting in a car accident with thoughts of arriving at your destination safely. You can use scents to inspire feelings. The smell of food or perfume can create memories. Such as, you are warm and safe in your bed, you smell the scent of lavender on your pillow. Maybe, you feel safer with your mother, husband or friends, so you spray their cologne in places that give you anxiety like inside the car, to give you comfort.
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Stress is good
Without stress we don’t grow. How can you feel happy if you’ve never felt sad? When you lose love you appreciate love so much more. Sadness, anger, jealousy- these are all emotions that are a part of this life. Otherwise you’d be in heaven if you had no sadness or pain. What do you want to do, lay around staring at the sky all day and night, then what? The ups and downs are interesting, exciting, and intriguing. It feels so good to overcome a problem. When you overcome problems, the feelings of sadness, frustration, and fear turn into happiness, confidence, and self value. Just like you have to put stress on your muscles for them to grow, you need stress to grow emotionally, mentally and spiritually. What gives you purpose in this life, helping others and inspiring others who are struggling. So the struggle, the defeat, and the victories are all in the cycle of life. You can’t run from stress, you can’t be happy all the time. You struggle, you get through it, you become stronger and you help others.
It’s not easy to face your demons. It takes hard work and patience.
If you feel pressure, anxiety or stress.
Don’t drink it away.
Don’t smoke it away.
Feel it and understand it.
Running from your demons and shadows will leave you in fear forever. In fear of facing the guilt, the shame, the anger, and the vengeance. It’s harder to value yourself when you have these bad thoughts lingering around. You can’t help others with what you haven’t learned yourself. Don’t make your life experiences a series of unfortunate events. Make your life experiences what gives you strength, wisdom and compassion. Face your demons, stop running and hiding. Accept that they are there and get to know them. Become comfortable with them. They aren’t as scary as you may think. In fact, they won’t be scary at all, eventually, you’ll be comfortable with them, because there doesn’t have to be any guilt, shame, or anger attached to any thoughts or experiences. You are learning, growing and becoming wiser to improve yourself and your life. Everyone has demons, you are not alone.