Call the demon by its name

I’m OBSESSED with horror movies. I especially love the ones where a demonic creature possesses a human. There’s something visceral and disturbing about watching an entity take control of the person it inhabits.

You don’t get to be a high achiever without having control issues and this is the ultimate nightmare scenario of losing control.

In most of these movies the secret to expel the demon is to call it by its name. The discovery of the name is usually a turning point in these movies and gives the protagonist(s) a chance against this hellish unworldly foe.

I don’t actually believe in demons or demonic posessesion. I mainly love watching these types of movies for the entertainment value. But there is a part of it that connects to reality for me…

This year has been rough. And it’s finally catching up with me.

Where I’d normally be hustling on some goal or achievement, that part of me feels deeply weary, almost like it’s in need of a hibernation. 

When the pandemic started, I saw a clear opportunity to step up and lead – at work and at home. I was excited at the chance to hone my skills leading in uncertainty and crisis.

And, if I’m being honest with myself, I love being a role model. I had great teachers in my life and I saw this as an opportunity to serve others and pay it forward.

I showed up energized at the challenge.

I encouraged others to make self-care a priority, while making it a priority for myself.

I began this blog because I was compelled to use it as a vehicle to hone my creativity and leadership skills.

I made a point to be present with my wife and daughters – to find moments of stillness in the day-to-day.

I was obsessed with making time and space for the important things so that I could serve as a role model and encourage others to do the same.  

More recently though, I’ve noticed my desire to plan for the future and set goals has dropped off a precipice. It feels as if a central part of me has become dormant. 

I didn’t understand it at first but in the spirit of self-care and leadership, I gave myself the grace to accept this state. My hope was that by not resisting it, I’d be able to get through it quicker (and once again serve as a role model).

So, what does this have to do with demonic possession?

I’ve been so obsessed with playing a role, I got swallowed up in a perception I believed I had to project that I forgot the most central piece of self-care. 

It’s not enough to go through the actions, you have to acknowledge and let yourself feel these difficult feelings. In other words, I need to call the demon by its name. 

Calling the demon by its name – anxiety, exhaustion, sadness, loneliness – is the first step. The second step is reaching out to others. I may be a leader and my drive to serve as a role model may never go away, but it’s important to surround myself with people from my tribe who can help me through these challenges. 

So, I’ve started reaching out. And that act alone has created a noticeable shift in my emotional state. I’m trying to remind myself that I don’t have to serve as a role model for the whole world – I don’t need that heavy of a weight on my shoulders. 

And I’m trying to call the demon by its name, so that with the help of my tribe, we can exorcise it out. 

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