The Monster Under The Bed

We tell ourselves little scary stories all day long: how awful the traffic is, why the coffee-shop clerk hates us, how horrible receiving a parking ticket is, how late we are, what a loser we must be, how terrible we look, what our boss-friend-partner thinks of us (mind reading), or even worse, how much better that other person is because of _______ (magical thinking).

And … just like little kids, frightened of The Monster Under The Bed, we’re scared shitless about the myths we tell ourselves (mostly self-deprecating crud). Meanwhile … the rest of this amazing, beautiful life is passing us by, and our preprogrammed inability to appreciate THIS moment, THAT cloud, or A plate of food … is gone.

We’re not little kids anymore (but we can recapture our silliness and child-like qualities). These stories are make-believe reactions haunting us from the past (for me: the boys who taunted me in Junior High, one specific ‘friend’ of my family, stuff my parents did that I interpreted as me not being enough).

It’s a ticker-tape chronic internal bullshit news feed filling our heads 24/7 …  as fairy-tale-true as the lies a bully tells in the school yard (or as accurate as the stuff coming out of most politicians mouths these days). All we need to do is ask someone we love what they think of us: funny that the people who love us (when they’re not mad at us) are never as fierce as our Not Enough Voice.

What would it be like for us, when we’re telling ourselves about The Boogie Monster, to stop and realize in the moment that we’re making stuff up, to just notice it, let it go (or, use my favorite trick: distract myself), and come back to the here and now? What would it be like to “… live the life we already have”?  A lot less scary … I’d bet.

Try it for a day, a morning, or a week: notice what it is you’re telling yourself, notice rushing, notice worrying, and notice how it takes you out of the moment, then bring yourself back by paying attention to something physical: the smell of the air, the feeling of the chair on your butt, the sky, your breathing … just notice and come back to this precious moment where there are no monsters – only the ones we make up.

 

 

 

(Kudos and credit belongs to: The Buddha, my Dharma buddies, one Particular Client, and a therapist who kicks my ass on a regular basis).

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