Snakes in the Basement

We all have them. Those fears and anxieties hidden in the dark corners of our past. Like snakes in the basement. We locked the door to that basement long ago. Then one day, an earthquake shakes the foundation and you have a choice to make: 1) get bitten or 2) cut their heads off.

2016 has been a year of great shaking. For a portion of the year, I too often acted like a victim. But then the foundation cracked wide open and I made the conscious choice to go back down in the basement and deal with several of these snakes one by one.

These are snakes I cut the heads off:

  • The Snake of Insecurity. This has been with me the longest and has been the most prone to raise its ugly head. It produced jealousy, pretense and comparison.
  • The Snake of Resentment. This snake slithered and squirmed in my gut when things didn’t go the way I wanted them to. It frequently made me a control freak.
  • The Snake of Impatience. This is the snake that has made me over-react, make brash decisions and robbed me of being present. When ever I had to wait, this snake would rattle in my mind about the unfairness of it all.
  • The Snake of Accusation. This snake has attacked humanity since the beginning of time. It hisses and spits that you aren’t enough, that you caused sorrow, that your life is doomed to failure.
  • The Snake of Rejection. This is the big one — the boa constrictor that frequently wrapped itself around my identity, belief, self-worth and squeezed and squeezed.

I have dealt with the above in a variety of ways the past 6 years — but mostly I just ignored them. Not that I was in denial. I just chose to work on other things. I chose to work on my empathy. I chose to work on mental toughness. I chose to expand my spiritual palate. And much, much more.

All of that work prepared me to go down in the damp, dark basement of self with a sharp knife. To shine a light of truth. Call them by name. And cut their heads off. I feel a sense of triumph, bravery and courage I’ve never felt before.

I may have to do this again. In fact, I’m certain I will. Not these snakes. But new ones that life brings. But now I’m ready.

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