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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Demons Part 4: No matter where you go, you will always be with you...

Recently I was listening to "My Eyes Adored You" by Frankie Valli and it got me to thinking.  In this song, over time, he sings of a lady friend whom he has loved literally since he was a kid.  Even though she never returned his love, it still remained in his heart no matter where he was, how long it had been, and no matter what he did.  In short, that was his cross to bear.  One could say perhaps it was his demon as there was no escaping his unrequited love for his lady friend.  With my birthday coming up soon, I thought this blog idea (and quote) was quite appropriate.

I've come to realize that everyone in this life has their cross to bear--for some it is a physical cross, for other it is psychological.  Sometimes that cross to bear feels like a demon.  The funny thing about personal demons is that you can't outrun them.  You can try to hide from them, you can try to ignore them, you can try to 'medicate' them away, but unless you've dealt with them, they will be there wehn you 'finish the day'.  I'm not sure who quoted it first, but as a wise man once said, "Wherever you go, there you are".

One of my favorite Bible stories is that of Jonah and the Whale.  In that story, the Lord spoke to his servant Jonah and told him to go to Nineveh and preach to the Ninevites.   They needed to repent of their sins lest they faith His wrath and be destroyed.  Well Jonah didn't particularly like the people of Nineveh as they were enemies of Israel.  So, he was fine with the Lord destroying them and therefore tried to run from obligations.  Naturally, the Lord being the Lord, He wasn't going to just sit idly by while His servant Jonah disrespected His will.  So, when Jonah caught a ship going the other way, the Lord sent a great storm that way.  Jonah was then awoken by the ship's captain and implored to call upon God to calm the storm.  Soon thereafter, the ship's population cast lots and determined that it was Jonah who had brought the trouble with him.  Jonah realized at this point what he needed to do to save the ship and its crew.  After some resistance from them, Jonah convinced the crew to toss him overboard to calm God.  Eventually they did and immediately thereafter the great storm had ceased, putting the fear of the Lord in all of them.  Anyway, Jonah was swallowed by a great whale and after three days in the whale, he cried up to God to spare him.  The Lord chose to spare him and the whale spat him on dry land.  When the Lord ordered Jonah to go to Nineveh again, Jonah took the hint and went there, upon which time the Ninevites repented of their sins and were spared.  In this story, Jonah was fortunate as his demon or cross that he had to bear was blatantly obvious: He had to help those whom he hated, no matter how much it upset him.   In our lives, the demons are not always so obvious and/or more not have a way to be (fully) resolved.  Yet,  even if we can't make a demon disappear, we can find a way to come to terms with it even while we work to lessen it.

Dealing with "Demons"
  • Recognizing them
    • Awareness of their existence.
    • Awareness of what they are
    • Awareness of what they aren't
  • Accepting their existence.
    • Accepting the full extent of them.
    • Accepting whatever level of permanence they are at.
  • Dealing with them
    • Knowing what you can and should do to deal with them.
    • Knowing what you can't or shouldn't do to deal with them.
  • Coming to terms with them
    • Accepting the aspects (of demons) that you can't change.
    • Working to change the aspects that you can.
    • Being wise enough to know which demons (or aspects thereof) you can change, which ones you cannot and being willing to accept the difference.

A personal example
Anyone who knows me knows that one of my biggest demons is sadness, specifically missing my daughter.  I have less than half time custody of her (and only half the holidays).  I've learned to deal, but I still cannot escape the sadness.  Sometimes I just have to be sad and maybe shed a few tears.  But, I know I can't just have her whenever I want.  I've accepted that I will have times in which I don't get to see her and I will be sad.  However, I know there are things I can do to maximize my time with her-including volunteering to coach, offering to watch her when her mom has late/early morning meetings, asking for days during the summer if/when her mom offers it.

I've recognized my demon--sadness due to loss of time with my daughter--and accepted it as part of who I am (a man who has strong feelings).   I've recognized what I can do to deal with the demon and what I cannot.  I'm also working to change the situation to the extent I can (and therefore reduce the loss of missing her).

Anyway, just my random musing the week.  Hopefully, you are able to retrieve something out of this post.


Other posts on demons:

Demons: Facing Demonsl

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