Today I am so happy to introduce to my long time friend, college roommate and biggest cheerleader Steph! She and I had a lot of fun back in the day, and we have taken turns for the past several years being the "rock" the other can lean on in hard times. So I am very happy to let Steph take over today. She is one of my best friends and has always had the words to help me out in a hard time.
Thank you for the opportunity to be a guest post on your blog! I feel so honored that you asked me to do this!
As I was pondering what to write about, I thought I would title this post:
"Stop Listening to the Monster"
I'll explain further what I mean...As mentioned in this post, many people have their own monster. (Since I can't speak for everyone, I'll only talk about my specific type of monster and how I deal with it.)
Devil vs Angel
The monster in my life is quite the devil; literally! Ever seen "Emperor's New Groove"? One of my favorite movies! One of the parts I love is where one of the characters, Kronk, has a tough decision to make and suddenly a little devil and a little angel appear on his shoulders (happens in a lot of cartoons). He debates back and forth and finally decides what to do. The same type of experience happens in my life; the monster (aka devil) and the Holy Ghost (aka angel) "appear" and both try to get me to do one thing or another but ultimately I decide what to do!
A Cherokee Legend
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.
"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"
The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."
Now this may seem like just a devil vs angel analogy and an old Indian tale but for me it really hits home. The solution for my current situation is to stop listening to the devil (monster) on my shoulder and to feed the right wolf!
There's a great quote I absolutely love! Elder Holland once said: "You can't stop a bird from landing on your head but you can stop it from building a nest there."
What he meant was that you can't always stop a negative thought from coming (try as you might but it just won't work!) but you don't have to entertain the thought! If the monster comes knocking at my door, and I open the door, I don't have to let him in! I can simply close the door! I don't have to give him the time of day! I have more important things to focus on! My time is too precious to waste on him!
It's not enough to just close the door; I have to let something else in its place-otherwise the monster will creep into my house and then I'll be in a worse place than I was before I slammed the door in his face! Some of the best angel type characters to let inside my life are: gratitude, uplifting music, journal writing, photography, exercise, and good company! Habits aren't broken; rather, they are replaced!
While I'm no expert on every individual case, I know what works for me and it's simply a matter of my own choice! I decide what I choose to focus on! I decide who I let in my life! I am in control!