Friends with the “Monsters”

16th November, 2013 - Posted by Colleen - Comments Off

With Halloween in our rearview mirror, I am reminded that for children, “monsters” are those creepy things that reside under the bed or in the closet when lights go out.
But what about for adults? Who or what are these monsters?
For adults, I sometimes like to think of them as creatures that are called by other names: Mr. Fear and Mrs. Doubt.
They are those painful feelings that humans hate to feel. Yet, we know are inevitable and the more we resist and deny the more they persist. The truth is, they just are, neither “bad” nor “good,” they won’t kill you, and they don’t really last forever.
What if we became friends with these “monsters?” What would it look like to “get along” with the painful feelings?
It would mean successfully coping with very difficult feelings. Not avoiding, denying, or dodging but facing. Now, I know there are some kinds of pain that are too difficult to face alone. For the person of faith, Jesus is faithful and true to walk with us*. For others, this may be a time to tap into their resources and a safe support system.
In any case, facing and addressing the monsters of fear and doubt could leave you feeling empowered and confident. And perhaps the monster’s fearsomeness will be a bit less scary each time you face it. A funny thing could happen: a friendship might develop and the monsters may not really be monsters after all.
*‚ÄúPraise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-5 NIV)
-Colleen Lam Nguyen, M.A., MFT Intern