Dancing with the Devils

We all have devils in our lives.

They manifest in different ways, take various forms. Sometimes they’re ghosts of bad decisions that just will not stay dead. Sometimes they’re family members or friends that say or do inconsiderate things, with or without malice. They’re the memories of past embarrassments that morph into the voice that says, “you failed at [that thing] so what makes you think you’ll ever succeed at [this new thing]?” They’re colleagues that bring toxicity to your work life. They’re the root causes of social anxiety and fear.

No matter what form the devil du jour is taking, they’re not going to go away. They’re as imminent (and arguably as necessary) as rainy days. The only power we have is how we view them, how we react to them, how we leverage them. They can be our outright enemies — or they can be forces to be harnessed, fuel for productive fires. Energy is energy, after all. It can’t be created or destroyed — only manipulated and converted.

Almost any self-defense class teaches that one of the most effective ways to battle a threat is to gain leverage and use the threat’s energy against it. You don’t stand still and let them hit you head-on. You grab hold of the threat, pivot in its direction and use its own force against it. That may seem counter-intuitive at first, and it takes more forethought (and courage) to execute. But it’s effective.

So dance with your devils. Just don’t let them lead.

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