Wrestling with Demons
Your willingness to
Wrestle with your Demons
Will make your Angels sing!
It seems to be part of human nature to avoid "wrestling with your demons." People tend to avoid the demons below the surface that may be troubling or haunting them, keeping them stuck, stagnant or unhappy. Who would want to wrestle with something that feels so big, scary and overwhelming? Yet ignoring these demons, is not a useful or growthful defense or strategy. Turning away from them, refusing to face the demons within, simply gives them more power to control your life.
Often you may not even be aware of the demons, simply feeling a malaise, a lack of energy, fear, nightmares, anxiety. You may find yourself turning to food, sex, substances, the internet or work, obsessively or compulsively. Maybe it is time to question what is beneath the ways you distract yourself from your inner life ( and from living a richer outer life).It takes courage to look deep within and face the demons, the ghosts from the past, and the pain that unconsciously motivate many of the feelings, thoughts and actions in your current life.
A common theme in nightmares is running away from someone who is perceived as dangerous, feeling terror as the person draws near, waking up before s/he reaches you. Yet rarely does anyone turn and face their pursuer in the dream ( when they do, it shows that something has shifted within, that they are ready to face their demons).
What might it be like within the dream, or in waking life to turn and face what is most feared, to confront and wrestle with your demons? Clearly the fear of annihilation often cuts off this possibility. What might it be like to remember, even in the moments of terror, that there is growth, light, peace, self-mastery, living your life more fully, that can emerge from having the courage to wrestle with your demons? Would you take that risk, would you be more likely to plunge in if you could trust that this effort would truly "make your angels sing?"
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Peggy Handler, MFT, is a psychotherapist in San Francisco's Noe Valley