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What demons do you possess?

Better yet…what demons are possessing you?

While the Church of Comsiology does not recognize demons as actual monsters that exist outside of ourselves, the philosophical idea of the demons within are very real indeed. They exist as a series of bad memories, old pains, unresolved conflicts, and open ended heartbreaks. They are they chains that bid us. The walls of a prison that we built for ourselves…and continue to control us beyond our ability to even understand why.

There comes a time when we get used to the pain inside. The same way that someone gets used to walking with a limp, dealing with arthritis, or squinting our eyes when our vision is too blurry to read the words on a page. We begin to make excuses for our every dysfunction. Why? Because it’s easy, isn’t it? We’re all adaptable creatures, so that’s what we do. We adapt to our problems instead of solving them. And sure, we can live the rest of our lives doing that without much trouble at all when it comes to most of the inconvenient parts of ourselves that we don’t necessarily like. But…what if we didn’t have to? What if the demons inside could be faced, head on, and embraced in a way where we could soothe and repair the wounds they inflicted upon us…decreasing their control…and paving the way to a much happier and more fulfilling life?

Speaking as a child that grew up in an abusive household, I know the practice of ‘adapting to my problems’ all too well. I remember what it was like to slip into survival mode, and just concentrate on making it through the next ten minutes…instead of thinking about the potentially irreversible damage that I was doing to my psyche, long term. I remember the secrets, I remember the lies, I remember the shame. And even after my father wasn’t around anymore…his voice still lingered. It echoed in the back of my mind, 24 hours a day, and I had no escape from it. I thought the sensible way to deal with those demons was to adapt to them as well, and numb my emotions until I was convinced that they just didn’t matter anymore. But demons don’t just ‘go away’. They lie dormant…waiting to be brought right back to the surface all over again.

We all have inner ‘triggers’ that lie within us. Because we haven’t faced those demons. We haven’t fought the good fight. We haven’t seen them for the cowardly expressions that they are. Instead, we avoid them. We put it off until later. We avoid making eye contact with our own reflections in the mirror. And so their control over us lingers. On and on and on, until we finally find the strength to expel them from who we are…and who we desire to be. This is how we find freedom. This is the path to joy and fulfillment.

In the story, “Gone From Daylight”…the one quote to remember is, “We cannot change who we are, but we can change who we become.” The lesson is simple to say, but a bit more difficult to understand and apply to your current situation. Basically…your past regrets, your disappointments, your failures, your saddest moments, and your greatest losses…they hurt. I understand that better than anyone. And it’s OK to hurt sometimes. It makes us who we are. It built you into the person you are today. That stuff was in the past…and you can’t change that now. However…there is nothing stopping you from creating a brighter path for yourself. To stop running from your demons, and turning to face them. To let them know that you’re not going to allow them to take over your life anymore. Easy? No. Possible? YES!

As a society, we’ve become so deathly afraid of looking at ourselves in the mirror, because we’re terrified that we’re not going to like what we see. We’re scared of being uncomfortable, we’re scared of being flawed, we’re scared of being wrong, we’re scared of losing, we’re scared of being alone. But these are the very things that build us up and define our character. Those demons helped us to create the identity that we live with every single day. Which is why the Church of Comsiology doesn’t just encourage us to battle our demons, but to embrace them. They helped to define who we are. They give us emotional advantages like empathy, understanding, wisdom, and grace. And to the parts of our experience that are doing us harm…they’ve given us the weapons to fight back, and to heal, and to spread the word so that others may do the same.

Today, I’d like to give you the the word…so you can do the same.

You can always tell the people who are too terrified to look within. They always try to make it seem as if it’s the rest of the world’s fault. That all of creation is the enemy, and it’s constantly crushing them on all sides. Always someone to blame. Always the victim and never the victor. “I don’t want them to talk to me about certain topics…they might offend me.” Or “I don’t want to fall in love….they might break my heart.” Or “I don’t want to get to involved with my friends…one of them might decide not to like me.” And from that perspective…life can be a very terrifying experience. I get it. I really do. But…did you ever stop to think that maybe…just MAYBE…you have the ability to ‘survive’ an awkward situation? That you might not just fade away into oblivion after a heartbreak? Or that you can still pick yourself up and try again after a disappointment? Wouldn’t that be better than running around trying to avoid everything that might be even REMOTELY uncomfortable for you?

I see sooooo many people constantly building up these protective walls around themselves to safe from the ‘apocalyptic’ world that exists outside of it. More and more they try to avoid this, and ban that, and pretend these people or those people don’t exist. Afraid to watch certain movies, afraid to watch certain news channels, afraid to read certain stories, afraid to pursue certain jobs. Why? Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. But sometimes losing can teach you things that winning can’t…and you come back stronger and better equipped to handle the next challenge. Wouldn’t that be a more fulfilling existence instead of trying to control and warp and lie and live in denial about the rest of the world as it is? Because you’re so scared to get your feelings hurt every now and then? Reality is not yours to control, and neither are the lives of other people who may have a difference of opinion. You can’t just fight to make something ILLEGAL because you don’t like it, or violently ATTACK somebody in a rage simply because you have opposing views on something you’re talking about. That’s insanity. I’m not saying that you should ever tolerate deliberate insults or abuse in any way, shape, or form…but we can’t live our whole lives pulling the blankets up over our head in bed to protect us from the demons that chase us.

Joy is not being perfect. It’s not being happy and winning at everything one hundred percent of the time. No. Where’s the excitement in that? How can you find satisfaction in a world without risk? Without challenges? There can be no real sense of triumph without the threat of defeat. And being able to deal with defeat in an emotionally mature manner, and having the confidence to know that you can get right back up on your feet afterwards? THAT’S where your joy exists in its most potent form. Because the challenge will thrill you. The journey will inspire you. And no matter what the odds are, whether they are in your hands or the hands of the demons that are constantly running behind you…that’s when you can truly appreciate your wins…and gracefully learn from your losses. Either way, you will always come out a step ahead from where you were before.

There is no greater reward than that.

From the Book of Comsiology…stay beautiful, and embrace the light within you.

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