This post is going to be a little bit weird–maybe a lot weird–depending on your perspective. I promise, that this really is useful to me, which is why I’m sharing it. Of course, it may, or may not be useful to you. Please take whatever you find useful and leave the rest.
Don’t they just live under the bed? And didn’t we learn that they were real a long, long time ago?
Well, in my world the answers are no, and no.
Here’s the idea:
we all have stuff, particularly, the stuff that comes up when we think about doing things that feel really important, or things that we really really want to do. For instance, I wanted to write this blog post, and I hear this voice in my head which says “you can’t do that, it has nothing to do with any of the things your blog is about, everyone who reads your blog will hate it, if you write it you’ll never be able to have a presence on the Internet again.”
See, to me, that’s a monster talking, in fact, it’s one of my monsters.
The most important thing about monsters
Yes I know, a lot of people would just call this negative self talk, or any number of other things. I don’t know how to negotiate or talk to “negative self talk.” For me though, by calling it, and thinking of it as a monster, I can talk to it and figure out why it’s there, and what it wants.
Here’s the key
Every monster is there for a reason, and that reason is always, every time, without exception, positive. Every monster we have is there for a reason, to help us or protect us in some important way.
Now I know that may sound strange, that our monsters are there to help. It is however, true. You see, monsters are created by our past experiences, when I was a kid I had experiences of being teased and judged negatively. Out of that experience, was born a monster (probably more than one) who are looking out for situations that might cause people to tease or judge or otherwise think negatively of me. They are there to protect me from that bad experience.
But I’m different now, and the world is different now. I’m an adult, not a seven-year-old miserable on the playground. The thing is, often the monsters don’t realize the difference that makes.
Approaching my monsters
Now we get to the reason I really wanted to write this post. I’ve been talking to a lot of people about this lately on blogs, and various other places online. And I feel like there’s something missing from most of these discussions about talking to monsters that I found very useful in myself.
Thanking Your Monsters
When I go to talk to one of my monsters, I make a point to thank them, for what they’re doing for me. I say something like “thank you for being willing to talk to me, I know you’re here for really important reason. I know there’s something critical that you’re doing for me. Would you tell me what that is?”
My experience is, that this approach dramatically softens the situation, as you might imagine that it would in an interaction between two people. I’m recognizing that the monster is there for some important reason. Once I know what that reason is, I can learn about the monster’s worldview, and why he or she acts the way he or she does.
The more I understand that, the easier it is to get this monster to understand my view, and my perspective as an adult. I find, that this often dissolve resistance to change, almost like magic.
If you’d like to read more about this I’d recommend Havi’s Posts:
Have you ever tried talking to monsters? Would you? I’d love to hear about it in the comments. However, please, don’t tell me I’m crazy (I already know that.) Also, please don’t tell me that I need therapy or that this doesn’t work (because for me it’s extremely powerful.) If you want to share an experience, whether it worked for you or not, please do–just don’t tell me that what I do doesn’t work for me. Thanks for being sensitive about this, my monsters appreciate it.