Most spirit-killers are invisible. Or else, disguised. Marisa had a spirit-killer she called “self-improvement.” Each time she exercised, she thought “I’m not doing enough.” She thought what she thought was true, and what would get her to exercise more, so it never even dawned on her that really, she was harboring a spirit-killer.
The spirit killer infused itself in almost every aspect of her working and personal life though, always moving her forward in what she thought was the “right” direction. The spirit-killer gave her hope that she would get in better shape, be able to work better and make more money, get her house more organized and find more patience with her children. Almost every moment of every waking day, the spirit killer called to her: do more, be better, try harder.
All of us have invisible spirit-killers that similarly fill us with hope and the possibility that we can feel better and be better but which, in actuality, plague us and mask the underlying problem: that we don’t feel adequate, healthy, happy, balanced or at peace.
Spirit-killers actually keep us from enjoying life, because they put us in overdrive, thinking ahead positively to a better life — the same way drugs take some people away from their pain and put them in an artificial feeling of a better life.
The problem with spirit-killers is not that we have them. It’s that we can’t recognize them. Because they are cloaked in hope, in aspirations, in our desire for a positive, better life.
So we can’t get rid of spirit-killers.
But we can do something else. We can work to feel better about ourselves, so the spirit-killers can rest.
Feeling better about ourselves though, is like asking a baby to climb a tree. It is absurd and preposterous to think that we can feel better about ourselves, because we are hard-wired to get away from unpleasant sensations and thoughts, negative emotions and unproductive ideas, so we don’t even realize, sometimes, that we don’t feel too good about ourselves.
Feeling better about ourselves is not something we can do – we need someone to carry us up a tree. And this, I’m happy to report, is somewhat easier. Because getting someone to carry us up that wonderful tree to a better place is as simple as finding someone who can hear us. Who we can talk to.
But here’s the rub: find someone to hear you who can really hear you. Not try to change you, talk you out of something, give you advice and more ammunition for the spirit-killers in your head. Just someone who can hear what you are feeling. That will help you tolerate what you feel.
So go out and be heard, and that will help to drive away the spirit-killers.