"The remnants of pain left behind by every strong negative emotion that is not fully faced, accepted, and then let go of join together to form an energy field that lives in the very cells of your body. It consists not just of childhood pain, but also painful emotions that were added to it later... It is the emotional pain that is your unavoidable companion when a false sense of self is the basis of your life." -- Eckhart Tolle
Any negative emotions that we bury, suppress, deny, avoid, or hate within ourselves can be seeds that grow gremlins - nasty little creatures within us - often seeming to have an intelligence of their own, and intent on making us thoroughly miserable. They try to make us sick, guilty, ashamed, fearful, enraged. As long as we ignore them, or battle with them, they dig their teeth in even more.
The idea or notion of fighting your inner demons is as old as humanity. Regardless of your beliefs or how you choose to understand the idea of "demons," one thing is for certain: what we bury in ourselves will eventually come back to bite us and can attack with a vengeance. There is a wonderful little self-help book by Rick Carson called Taming Your Gremlin. One thing I like about it is that it contains lots of ugly little cartoon drawings of people's various "gremlins." They usually look like little gargoyles or goblins. There is some humor in seeing them as these super ugly little critters that are the embodiment of the parts of ourselves we reject and deny in ourselves. They are exaggerations of our negative self-images. Sometimes they seem to be quite alive as separate entities within us, even on a physical level. My clients often describe this in very graphic terms. Sometimes the gremlin can seem like the exact opposite of every good quality that you feel is your real self.
Rather than get freaked out by this and run away from it, or taking pills or drugs to numb ourselves to the pain and fear caused by this little gremlin, Rick Carson encourages a more introspective approach. Like any negative thought or feeling, the only way to let go is to first accept and acknowledge.
A gremlin is like a problem child, having a raging tantrum. Trying to get our attention, either by inducing us to act out it's negative emotions (basically possessing us)... or by making us physically sick, weak or lethargic. The bottom line is - it wants our attention. If we try to ignore it, it screams louder. If we fight with it, it gets that negative attention and feeds off it, growing larger.
Tapping, meditation, journaling, and art can all be powerful methods of making peace with our gremlins.
First we identify it. Then we let it speak and give it some acceptance and attention. And then we let it transform naturally into an ally - or at least a weird little friend that stops causing us harm.
Learn how to free yourself from these inner demons with EFT Tapping and Meditation.
Tapping is a powerful mind-body technique that engages the energy system in order to assist the brain in letting go of habitual and automatic negative patterns of thought and emotion.
Remember, tapping normally begins by tapping out the negative stuff - voicing the painful thoughts and feelings as you tap. That is what loosens it's grip on the mind and body. After that, you proceed to tap the positive statements. Do as many positive rounds as you want. If it feels good, do more of it. Always end on a positive note.
Stay tuned for more tapping tips and ideas to lighten up!
Author, Ben Schwarcz
Transformational Coach, Psychotherapist, EFT Tapping Practitioner, Teacher and Author.