How do we deal with the things that terrify us? Cause either you find a way to wrestle them and over power them or they will eat you alive. Like monsters under the bed.
When I was little I was terrified of monsters. I used to imagine this force field over my bed, protecting me from all the evil swirling down around me. Of course there were different layers of the force field to protect against different kinds of creepy things. They’re not all the same, you know.
The second I would turn off the light, hundreds of thousands of monsters would torpedo down from the stratosphere—a race to see if they could get to me before my force field went up. I would sprint from the light switch, one, two steps and then a flying leap onto my bed. (You have to make sure not to step too close to the bed as there are monsters under the bed as well. You wouldn’t want to be the victim of an unfortunate ankle-grab).
The guys streaming down from on high would blast their way to earth, through the trees, the roof, almost to the my head!…when I would land safely in bed. The minute you touch your bed, the force field goes up, naturally. Lay flat on the bed to make sure all the layers are working–no knees up, press your hands and feet into the bed and make sure your head is flat on the pillow.
When I was scared I would look up at all those layers of the force field and all the monsters trapped at each level. Some were stuck way out in outer space, some hovered around the house, some could come all the way up to my face, but were taunted, unable to bite me because of that pesky force field. Each monster held captive in its ranks, each floating in its proper place, suspended in layer after layer of my force field.
They became my monster-mobile, dancing me to sleep.
So maybe I had to go to some creative lengths to conquer the monsters that were plaguing me. Maybe you’ll say it’s all a mind game, and I guess it is. But even the grown-up terrors that chase us are usually just mind games, not unlike my monsters. Often it is our fear of something that paralyzes us, rather than the thing itself. As an adult, I try to beat my fear by not playing the game—just don’t think those terrifying thoughts! But my child self teaches me that maybe it’s better to play the game—terrorize my terrorizing thoughts with anti-terror imaginations of my own—and win 😉