“There are so many fragile things, after all. People break so easily, and so do dreams and hearts.” Neil Gaiman
This week I was meeting with a client who was discussing how there seems to be a constant conflict of voices within. There are some voices which seem to be positive and others which seem to cheer for behaviors that are not in alignment with what his goals are. The client was talking about abstaining, but noted that there is a strong voice that rises up and says, ‘just one last time’ or ‘no one needs to know’ or ‘it was a rough week, you deserve it!’ We discussed the differences between these two voices and then I asked him to name the one that wants him to abstain. He called it his true self. When I asked him to put a name to the voice of doubt and he called it his devil. I noted that devil is an accurate name for it because devil spelled backwards is LIVED! We discussed how these voices are calling him to live his life backwards. Wanting him to continue to use is not in alignment with who he truly is. I then discussed how his dream of living a life of sobriety and finding healthy ways to deal with pain instead of numbing is fragile at this point. It needs some protecting. I used an analogy of how the dream of him staying clean is like an eggshell. It is very fragile, as are all dreams in the beginning. When the voice of doubt comes up it easily breaks the shell. We discussed how the ‘devil’ within isn’t truly trying to crush our dreams, it is only trying to keep us in what is known and familiar. Although it is risky to continue to use, for this client it was more familiar and known then having to give up friends and the only form of social interaction he knew. The devil voices rationalize that it is better to stay in the known then to venture out into the unknown where there could be bigger dangers and risks. We then talked about how a fragile egg, with bubble wrap and a protective barrier around it can be dropped from a significant height and remain intact. I asked him what his bubble wrap could be to protect his dream of staying clean. We each have a dream. For some of us it is just a fleeting thought that we would like to open our own business, or write a book, or travel to India or any thought that charges us with excitement. We also have all the reasons why it isn’t the right time, we don’t have the education, we don’t have the money or we aren’t worthy of that dream. If you have a dream, what is your bubble wrap to protect that dream? The first line of defense is to protect the dream from your own devil. Remind yourself that if you were given a dream by your authentic self, your authentic self will be able to lead you towards it. You are more than your devil. Are you ready to turn your DEVIL around and live the life that is meant to be LIVED through you?