Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ghost, Monsters and Demons! Oh My!

Halloween is a strange holdiay to me - a celebration of death and fear. I know there is a long history of how and why it came to be, but to me, it's still strange. It's easy to put a life coachy spin on some of the other holidays, but Halloween was challenging for me. Then it hit me, while some choose to dress up as ghosts and monsters, many of us are plagued by our own ghosts and monsters all year round.

We are haunted by the ghosts of past mistakes and choices we didn't make or paths we didn't take. We think of what we could have or should have done. When we spend too much time back there, we let those choices affect our present and even the decisions we make regarding our future.

The ghosts of our pasts try to convince us that we are doomed to repeat those same actions over again. The ghosts of our pasts disguise themselves as 'proof' of what we can and can't accomplish.

We need to perform an exorcism of sorts. By looking at our past mistakes, we can pull out the lessons that only hindsight can provide and gain important information that can keep us from making those old mistakes again. Armed with our newfound knowledge, we can banish our ghost for good.

Monsters are another story. Like Frankenstein, we create most of our monsters. We create them and before we know it, they have taken on a life and power of their own, wielding destruction and mayhem everywhere they go.

Our monsters - fears - fueled by our vivid imaginations, grow bigger and stronger. We play the what if game which quickly becomes a series of progressively more outlandish impluasabilities. Or we see the worst-case scenario in our mind's eye - assuming our fears would end in humiliation, failure or embarassment.

Killing monsters always involves something specific - a wooden stake through the heart, or being shot by a silver bullet. So we need to be specific when it comes to killing our monsters - finding a way to dismantle our fears.

It could be using our imaginative powers for good and seeing ourselves emerging from our fears in victory and with success. It could involve addressing our fears head-on and figuring out what those fears are trying to tell us. It could also involve taking baby steps to overcome our fears.

When there are our personal demons, the things we do and indulge in that quickly go from blessing to curse. I used to shop to relieve stress. However, the shopping got to a point where it got out-of-hand and became another source of stress. Our personal demons can be addictions or bad habits or toxic relationaships or inappropriate emotional responses.

Making a firm decision to exorcise your demons is the first step to erradicating them.

Exorcising our ghost and killing our monsters and slaying your demons can free you from fear, so your personal Halloween can be more treat than trick.

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