Just when you think “Yeah, I got this!” suddenly you find yourself in a tailspin, unable to move out of the dead space or do anything or even bother to care. For me I find myself meandering aimlessly, a raw anger dogging my heels every step. Suddenly I’m super driven, all dressed up and nowhere to go. Though that’s not entirely true. There are plenty of places I could go but none of them are particularly appealing unless it’s somewhere I have no interest in being. Then I get to beat myself up, ride the complain train and tell myself what a wastoid I am. Repeatedly.
My favorite demon seems to be the “I’m Not Good Enough” demon. It’s always sitting there in the background muttering hateful nothings like twisted background music, the evil soundtrack to my life. “You know, Stasi, they really don’t want to hang out with you. You have zero of interest to say.” “Oh, you have work? Seriously??? Who are you kidding? You aren’t qualified to tie your own shoe. Go study with another teacher/trainer/guru/person who has even less experience but way more chutzpah than you for another twenty years and then maybe you’ll have something worth listening to. Of course by then you’ll be so old you won’t likely have a voice but hey! At least then you’ll be interesting.” “Everybody’s better than you, sweetie. Go sit down and shut up. Just who do you think you are anyway?” For me, this demon appears as some snooty lord dressed in royal blue velvet, starched white shirt with lace collar and cuffs, gold buttons and pin straight, jet black emo hair. I have no idea what his eyes look like since he never looks at me; he’s too busy examining his nails to actually glance in my direction. I am beneath his notice. Except enough to notice that I’m hopelessly inadequate and make sure to remind me of my inadequacy at every opportunity. Methinks this haughty lord needs a name. He’ll have one by the end of this article. He may even deign to tell me himself. This demon seems to be my personal nightmare. He appears when I least expect it, though honestly I should expect him all the time since he never goes away and never truly shuts up. The really twisted thing? He’s damned hot – in a pale, drained-of-life-could-be-a-vampire sort of way. I suppose that’s all part of his dealio; he wouldn’t seem nearly so superior if he looked like *ss.
I suppose I could try to delete him, but honestly that would require giving him my attention and that’s what feeds him. So what to do about Sir Andrew Flauntleroy, Lord Cromwell? Any attention serves to make him stronger. Time to hit up my old favorite tools of surrender and gratitude. Be vulnerable, acknowledge I have this unwelcome companion who utterly detests and abuses me. He is there. He is here. He is with me. So what? He can only cause as much harm as I’m willing to allow. This is one of those places where faith serves me well. The Lady finds me worthy simply because I exist. Had She not I wouldn’t exist at all. If She finds me worthy then I am. Simple enough. So surrender to Her greater and much better informed judgement and flood myself with gratitude. I chant to myself my litany of gratitudes “I am so grateful and thankful that the Lady saw fit to give me life! I am so grateful and thankful that the Lady continues to find me worthy of that life! I am so grateful and thankful that I have a purpose for being here and that the Lady gave me so many gifts to share with the world!” And so it goes. Eventually this is accompanied by internal and/or external happy dances. I continue to think of many other things to be grateful and thankful for and once the floodgates of gratitude are opened they rush in so fast I haven’t time to think. Singing my gratitude litanies drowns out the nasty Lord Cromwell quite nicely. Occasionally, along with my litanies of gratitude, I find myself engaged in conversation with Sir Andrew Flauntleroy. He’ll spit venom at me and I simply reply “Is that so? Thank you for noticing,” or “Really? Thank you for telling me that.” It frustrates him so long as I remain grounded in gratitude. Eventually he skulks off to the shadows to mutter his nastiness to himself in the darkness.
The key is to remain heart centered, to keep my focus on the Lady and on the things I’m grateful for. Hate hasn’t a chance in the presence of love and gratitude. The more I practice keeping myself grounded and grateful the more quickly I’ll notice when he’s aiming for me full tilt and can shift my focus before I find myself mired in anger and self loathing.