Facing Your Demons

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It's amazing how very little changes in the way we confront our fears and handle very sensitive issues as we grow from infants to grandparents. As children we make a big monster of our peers who bully us and of our relatives whom we don't like. We build of them an image in our head that makes it look like we are up against insurmountable obstacles. 

Then we grow up to young adults in universities and starting our professional career. Yet we still build a larger than life image of the issues we want to avoid. We stay in a relationship we clearly do not enjoy or that is abusive just because we don't want to face our fear of putting an end to something that has been in our life for a long time and people have come to associate with us. We blame Nigeria and the government for the opportunities we don't have, rather than confront the sensitive issue of building the type of life we really want. We try to put outside our control the matters that affect us greatly but that will require us facing our biggest fears.

And as we keep growing old the demons keep increasing in numbers and size. We get married. We have kids. We have more responsibilities. It's now almost impossible to make any big drastic change. And we simply build a wardrobe for our fears and take up the fate to forever live with them. We begin to even acquire new bad habits to help us avoid them more. We start drinking or smoking or hanging with people who have bigger problems and are more helpless than us. Just like we did as children, we continue to make our fears and the terrible situations we find ourselves in look like insurmountable obstacles.

Unfortunately, I am no different. I still build monsters out of my fears. But once in a while, I get the courage to face one these demons. Maybe after prayerfully binding it and casting it out. And for everyone I have faced one of two things happen immediately:

  1. The demon shrinks and disappears, or
  2. The demon ends up becoming like an iceberg, the more I unmask it the bigger I find it is.
I know we can overcome all our demons, what I am not sure of is if we should. Not everyone who is not happy with his job should quit. Not everyone who is not happy in marriage should pull out. Sometimes, it's best to make the most of the unhappy situations we find ourselves in, to sit contently in the dingy corner of the boat rather than rock the entire boat and risk sinking everyone.

The one thing I am sure of is that all demons start small and easily squashed. There would have been a time when changing that unhappy job was a small task. There was a time you could have easily ended the relationship and prevented an unhappy/abusive marriage. They was a time when your now 20 foot monster was a squashable cockroach. I think we owe it to our future self to kill our demons before they become mammoths. And if you have the courage enough, take on the now monstrous ones too. Take more charge of your life and face your fears.


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