We never know what demons someone is battling.  But I can guarantee you that everyone is.  Everyone is struggling with something.  Or someone.  Everyone is waging a personal war in some way, with some part of him/herself.  EVERYONE.  Nobody gets out of this life, out of this world, without some battle scars and war stories.  NOBODY.

It’s amazing how, just when we think we know someone, they often begin to share their story about the demons that they struggle with and the internal battles that they wage.  And when this happens, our entire perception of who this person is changes.  (Hopefully) our hearts open up and we are able to stand beside them and help them shoulder their pain and fear, even if it’s just for a few moments.  That is what empathy is all about.  

While we would love to be able to take these demons away from people we care about, we have no power to do so.  The demons are theirs and theirs alone, just as your demons are yours and yours alone.  Nobody can conquer them for you.  Nobody can go to battle in your place.  Nobody can wield a weapon against your demons.  Only you, just you.

This is not to say that you are alone in your battle against your demons.  Because, unless you chose to be, you are not.  Just because someone else can’t slay your dragons or destroy your demons, doesn’t mean you must walk onto the battle field as a sole warrior.  Unless you chose to be a sole warrior.

Support exists all around you.  It truly does but only if you allow it to wrap its arms around you.  It’s amazing what can happen when you start to share your story and allow yourself to talk about your places of vulnerability where the demons like to strike.  And when they strike, it’s often fast and hard and relentless. 

Others will often recognize your demons as cousins to their own.  They will see glimpses into their own battles by looking at your battles with you.  So while you go into battle to do the “heavy lifting” on your own, you have support all around you.  The people (and angels if you believe that sort of thing) that love you and care for you, both those you know and those that you don’t, walk by your side.  They shadow you. They energetically share their strength with you.  True, you are the one to raise the sword and release the arrow, but others can be holding the sheath and quiver.

The battles will be there whether we like it or not, both for ourselves and for others.  We cannot just wish them away or pretend they aren’t there.   That doesn’t work.  So imagine what would happen if we allow ourselves to open up about our battles to others and allow them to help us find our strength and our resolve to keep on working toward a successful outcome.  And imagine what would happen if we allow ourselves to BE open enough to hear about the battles of others and allow ourselves to help them find their strength and their resolve to keep on working toward a successful outcome? 

Oh what a wonderful world it could be.

So remember, everyone is fighting some sort of battle.  Try to be kind always.

A Testimonial From a Previous HTW Client

I was on a run, thinking vaguely about the self-talk email, and then my mind wandered over to something negative, and I realized that so much of the stuff I’d felt since early childhood – feeling inferior, ugly, unwanted, of no worth, ashamed, etc…  – originated from me. I was telling myself that!

I definitely think that a lot of my emotional baggage comes from my relationship with my parents, but it was super enlightening to realize that so much of those bad, empty, awful feelings weren’t happening because it was true that I had no value.

I think it was me trying to make sense of things – using those feelings as a defense mechanism to keep from being vulnerable. And since I started doing that at a really young age, it was such a part of me that I just sank into it.

Of course it’s very painful to realize this as well – I wish I could go back to my young self and wrap her up in a huge hug. But I think insight like this is part of the healing process.