When your inner-demons are raging and you can’t get anything done: 3 appeasements.
It’s 3am. You’re trying to fall asleep, but your mind is whirring like an overheated computer. So many scenarios to model, so many thoughts to process, so much to think about.
It would be OK to skip a night and get by on a few of hours of sleep, but this has been going on for a while and you’re becoming more irritable by the day. Your colleagues and family are noticing…
Diagnosis: your inner-demons are raging. You’re in survival mode.
During the day, things look a bit better and your inner-demons settle as they feed on distractions. But they return at night or when you’re alone.
These demons have one purpose: to keep you from becoming something greater. They’re an ancient survival mechanism and they’re maladapted to 21st century life.
Different demons might come up at different times. It helps to recognise which survival demon you’re dealing with, so you don’t make misguided decisions:
The fight demon: You’re going to conquer! You’re going to smash the whole thing, by golly! You just need to get thing X, person Y, or circumstance Z out of the way! If they would just disappear…
The flight demon: Just get busy with something else or use your favourite distractions instead of facing what needs to be faced. You might turn to: food, alcohol, TV, work, drama…Anything but a reality check.
The freeze demon: You resign yourself and feel helpless, complaining to anyone who’ll hear. You’d rather hide, isolate yourself from sources of support. Great for attracting narcissists.
The fawn demon: If you people-please enough, things will work out somehow. Just play nice. Also great for bringing narcissists into your life.
When the inner-demons are raging, you might feel the grip of tension in your shoulders, chest, throat, belly, and find it impossible to relax.
You can’t focus. You procrastinate. You feel there’s a gaping hole in your sense of self and your self-esteem plummets as it leaks into an abyss. You’re cut off from the voice of clarity and confidence. You’re not sure what to do.
But in reality, you’re not far from your breakthrough. What you want is closer than you think. In fact, you’re probably the closest you’ve ever been which is why your demons are raging – trying to keep you in your comfort zone and away from who you can be truly.
Whether from ancient wisdom or recent neuroscience findings that give scientific validity to what was intuited by sages thousands of years ago (as we started to settle in large cities and feel the alienation that comes with it) we have tools to break out.
Here are three:
They all start with acknowledging what’s happening and being humble enough and willing to work with your inner-demons:
1. Walk alongside
Sometimes you just need to give your inner-demon a nod of recognition and respect, and continue doing what you know you’re supposed to be doing. These are usually lesser demons.
2. Have a cup of tea
At other times, you need to stop and sit down with your inner-demon to discuss what it’s trying to say and reason with it. It might be a long-term dweller that has come from the past to remind you of something you’ve forgotten. A lesson or piece of wisdom you need to heed. The message is buried underneath the negative chatter which is why you must slow down and have a cup of tea with the demon and ask: “What are you trying to tell me?” It may take a little while to get to the message, so give it some time.
3. Embrace the demon
These are the oldest demons and require great care. They can’t be dealt with through reasoning alone, they demand that we recognise them as a part of us and fully feel their energy – they’re the animating principle of life. It’s a disowned feeling demanding to be felt. An energy wanting to be (re)integrated into your system. The reward for your courage is the release of deeply-held blocks that hold you back in your life, and the healing of old wounds. What you want most deeply is on the other side. It’s best to create ample space and time for this process.
If you’re someone who can’t help but dream a bigger dream, walk a path of integrity with your true potential, and honour what is possible, facing your inner-demons becomes a way of life. Hence, the expression “spiritual warrior”. We all sense this truth on some level – which is why we feel inspired by stories of heroines and heroes and ordinary people who stay true in the face of adversity.
So, if your inner-demons are raging right now, be at peace, you’re on your path.
Have a great week,
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