We all have some. They’re called our personal demons. Some folks are aware of them, some aren’t. That doesn’t change the fact that we have them. I’m inclined to think that babies don’t have them. I mean, how can anything so beautiful and innocent have any personal demons? Having raised seven kids, I’m also inclined to not agree with that inclination at times. Just sayin’.
One of the things about those demons is that sometimes we don’t know we have them, However, almost always we are aware that something about us is slightly off kilter when we are unaware of their presence (and, thus, their power over us). For those of us who know that we must occasionally face one of our demons because it’s going to pop up (sometimes we never put them to rest) we sense that we’re in for some uncomfortable time.
Our demons aren’t always a bad thing–like when they bring us some discomfort. Discomfort, in that case, is a good thing, and good for us, because it’s the kind of discomfort we learn from. Typically, we’ll decide that we’re in a world of hurt, which makes us look toward the cause (“there’s one of those old demons I never did anything about”), and then we’ll confront it once and for all and put it to bed. We learn from that discomfort. It’s something we don’t wish to experience again. By the way, did you ever learn any of the hard lessons about life from a totally pain free experience? I didn’t think so.
Then there are folks like me. I’m quick to admit that I am struggling with my demons. Heck, it makes me sound like I’m on top of this thing called life, doesn’t it? It gives the illusion that I know I have them, that I know what they are, that I’m dealing with them little by little, and that one day all will be well with my soul. I fail to use the word sometimes with that (as in “sometimes I struggle with my demons”) because that would, to the astute one, beg another question–“what about the times you’re not struggling with them?”
Truth be told, yes, sometimes I do struggle with my demons…. but sometimes we just snuggle. Therein lies the problem. My demons are as much a part of me as my DNA–or so it might seem. That’s because, for the ones I’m aware of, I think that I know them, that I know how they drive me (actions and reactions–behaviors) and because of that I think I can control them, and then I fail to rid myself of them once and for all. I snuggle with them. Look at an analogy about this; you’ll seldom easily remove or drop a person whom you snuggle with (or cuddle with), right? You’d be inclined to try to work things out, yes? That’s me and some of my demons.
Over the course of these last few years, I have begun to realize that the whole is the sum of its parts when it comes to myself, just as it is in all other things. Any demons I may have are just as much a part of me as the quirks I have, the past I have, or the idiosyncrasies I have. And, just as those things don’t define who I am, neither do my demons. I am the sum of my parts and what defines me is how I act, react, and behave in spite of those things.
Interestingly, I rather accept those demons. No, we’re not particularly friends, but we’ve learned to get along. Enough so, at least, so we don’t fight each other anymore. In fact, you might say that I’ve started listening to them more than ever before. I’ve found out that we both want the same thing–my happiness.