Monsters Under The Bed

Monsters Under The Bed

We’re all fighting battles; these wars within ourselves that threaten to consume us. Often, we fight these battles alongside our friends and family. We open ourselves to people whom we love and they help us. Other times, we go at it on our own. We don’t let people in and we make life difficult for ourselves.

I recently had a very enlightening conversation with my friend, who we’ll call Leonard. Leonard has abandonment issues. And I don’t know what that’s like. I didn’t even know he was going through this until he told me.

His issues started when his father left him when he was 6 months old. His mother raised him by herself. Throughout his childhood, he had a revolving door of father figures who entered his life and left just as he would get attached to them. That led to him having difficulty forming stable relationships with people. Instead of getting too attached to anyone, he would push them away to avoid that feeling of abandonment. He lost a lot of friends that way, to the point where he’s now afraid to make new friends because he feels as though he’ll just drive them away.

I can’t imagine what that’s like. I can’t imagine someone going through that alone. And even now, with me knowing his situation and knowing the root of it, I can’t say that I truly comprehend it. It’s not something I can relate to, but it’s something I’m glad he told me. It helps me understand some of his decisions better. It helps him as well because sharing your problems helps to lessen its load.

We all have demons that we fight. The monsters under our beds from when we were young manifest themselves in our heads as we grow up. When we were young, we would call out to our parents for help, but as we grow older, the prospect of asking for help becomes unappealing to us. Our pride gets in the way. We’d rather suffer alone than seem weak in front of our friends and family. And that’s absurd.

Asking for help does not make you weak. It makes you human.

Know Yourself

Know Yourself

It’s important to know yourself. It’s important to be comfortable in your own skin. The world is going to push it’s expectations on you on a daily basis. It’s going to try and mold you into what it wants you to be. You can’t let it win.

You need to know who you are. You need to know your traits, the good and the bad, and you need to be comfortable with them and happy with them. You are who you are for whatever reason and it’s nothing but a good thing.

I’ve always looked at compliments as being a double edged sword. So often we let people’s compliments affect our opinion of ourselves. It’s nice hearing things like, “You look good today”, or “I like your shoes”, or “You’re the funniest person I know”. But the moment you let someone’s compliment affect your opinion of yourself, that is the same moment you will let their criticism affect you as well. And I’m not talking about constructive criticism, I’m talking about things like, “You’re fat”, or “You’re not funny”, or “You’re weird”. Those kinds of statements make us feel like less than we really are, and they have as big an effect on us as they do because we crave the approval of people. We live for their compliments and so we fall for their criticisms. And that’s something that can’t keep happening.

Know yourself. Know yourself to the point where nobody’s opinion can affect you. Know yourself to the point where people’s compliments and criticisms bounce off you like a basketball on hardwood. What other people think about you shouldn’t matter. What you think about yourself is what’s important. That doesn’t mean you have to think you’re perfect, it just means that you have to accept who you are.