Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Demons Within

Demons, we all have them; they are our scars, our baggage, and the misconceptions we hold of our selves. The things we carry within our soul that leaves us with self doubt and insecurities. Even the most self assured person has a demon or two. Some of us are better at hiding our fears than others.

Some demons we acquired when we were younger. They were cast upon us by thoughtless comments and actions of others. Aquired through expectations of another placed upon us that were never met. For one reason or another, something in our childhood that may have seemed insignificant to another, left an indelible mark on our personality that we continue to carry through our adult life.

The origins of some childhood demons are easy to trace. The constant praise placed on one child over the other for their looks, grades, friends. The constant scolding, the perpetual question of a parent to a child, “Why can’t you be more like your sister/brother?” The parent never comprehending how that one question repeated over and over during a childhood could create a demon so large one could lose their perception of who they are or how they are genuinely seen by others. Spending a childhood and often a lifetime, always seeing their sibling as the perfect child, perfect student, perfect person, failing to see in our selves what makes us just as accomplished.

Still other demons have manifested in our being by past admirers, sweethearts, lovers. The person who we confessed our inner secrets/desires to. The person we trusted like no other. Who in return professed their unconditional love, promising they would never leave, they were our future. For a time they were the center of our universe. Yet one day we woke to find they were no longer there. Our world was shattered. The inevitable questions, if they loved me, why did they leave me? What was so wrong with me? The questions they left unanswered, the trust that was broken, the blame we placed on our self, can at times create a scar that burns the deepest and hurts the most. It is this scar that over time turns into the ugliest of demons. Some people are lucky, they have never felt or experienced those lingering questions of self doubt/self worth. If we are lucky, in time we realize that maybe there was nothing wrong with us, it was just the time or circumstance, and some things are truly not meant to be. With that we can cast the demon to the wind. We are left in peace to try to find love again. While others will have the demon of self doubt haunt them their entire life, never finding a truce that would allow them to find their happiness, their peace.

We fool ourselves into believing we have buried most of our demons deep inside us. However, no matter how hard we try to hide them, they reveal themselves when we are most fragile. When we are confused, afraid to show who we really are, or how we really feel. It is the demon of “Self protection” at its’ worse. We show arrogance when we are feeling insecure. We seem cold/aloof when we are afraid to let someone get close to us. We appear to be uncaring, when in fact we are hurt, pained. We are unwilling to expose who we really are or how we truly feel, afraid if they “see” us, we will be rejected. We carry the misperception of how we are viewed, how we are honestly seen by others. So we delude ourselves, we pretend to be someone else. Failing to perceive, everyone has imperfections. No one is looking for that perfect person. Perfection is in itself is more or less boring. Our imperfections if we allow them to, can be the most beautiful part of our being. Demons and all, we are all pretty amazing.

To battle our demons, to cast them aside, we must first realize our demons are open wounds that continue to drain us of our self esteem, infect the soul with self doubt. We must recognize and acknowledge them. Realize, no matter how hard we try to ignore our demons; they have revealed themselves at one time or another to our friends. Sometimes the only way to exercise them, rid them from our lives, is to expose ourselves, demons and all, openly to those around us. Simple as this might seem, learn to always be our self. Some people when confronted with whom we really are; will smile recognizing our fears as the same demons they carry. Still other people will leave, not liking the “real” you, preferring the fictitious identity. They will not want to expend any effort into helping you become stronger, free you from your scars, they like you at your weakest.

If we are lucky, we will find that someone who will love us so much, no matter how hard we try to push them aside through stupid actions, harsh words, they stand fast. They see our demons; recognize them as scars from our past. They don’t see them as ugly but a part of what makes us unique. They clearly see all our imperfections and still love us. They are our steadfast lover/friend who time and time again climb our wall of insecurities, kicking a few bricks out along the way, demonstrating nothing is insurmountable if we have faith in ourselves. They believe in us when we have lost sight of who we are. They see past our instabilities, our vulnerabilities, our flaws, our self doubt, our mistakes…they take that precarious walk time and time again never giving up on us. They are our lifeline to reality.

How do we survive our demons? Acknowledge that demons are a part of everyone’s life for one reason or another. No one goes through life unscarred. The only way to survive your demons is to accept and embrace them as your own. They make you the unabashed individual that you are. Seek out that steadfast friend. The person who, when possible, will help you cast out some of your demons. Free you of your scars. When needed, help you to accept and form a truce with the demons that will always be a part of you. Allow you to see yourself through their eyes. Teach you to love yourself, demons and all, they way they do.

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