By Rochelle Soetan
When we were children, we watched scary movies that unveiled giant menacing monsters, browbeating beasts, daunting demons and dragons that stood as tall as the 50-foot oak tree embedded outside of our bedroom window. In the day, the tree resembled a tall magician with a magic wand that would repel those barbaric behemoths and beasts that recurred to terrify us in our sleep. But in the night, the wind shifted the leaves, often transforming them into fear-provoking mountains of a shadow. Our imaginations ran away with us and enticed us to believe that the terrifying creatures in the trees and on the screen not only existed, but also endeavored to ooze through the windows and extend through the black and white optical glass surface to devour us.
As we became adults, we learned the difference between real and imaginative, poise and panic. But perhaps, too, we never mastered how to leave many of those fictitious anxieties behind. Sometimes, the things around us can seem very mysterious, horrifying, powerful, even impossible to overcome. Horror films, much like challenges, aim to get you really scared. The great technique is not to show you the monster because the more you see of it, the less worried you actually are. And the more you recognize it, the more you possibly become aware that it’s just another latex suit, special effect, or some green screen that is removable. If you could just catch a glimpse of it out of the corner of your eye, a couple of frames, or just some small shot of the ‘thing’, it could venture to play on your imagination which, is infinitely, more powerful than any top “Hollywood” production can create.
Your mind can envisage monsters, demons and freaks that can eat you alive, and each one is peculiar and scarier than the last. But your mind, can too, generate an actual base of faith which can literally save you. Of course, there’s a part of some of us that likes being eaten alive. People are perverse. They like strange things. They don’t all just like pleasure; some like pain. Some like problems. Some like drama. Some like fear. And like the person running for dear life in the movie who becomes the monster’s prey, some like being put into positions of powerlessness where they can’t find their own freedom, only to discover they own a shred of courage.
Oddly, fear is both our monster and our champion. It lurks in the shadows of the trees to spook us and sometimes aids to remind us of how courageous we can be. In many cases, fear can make us codependent, like the strange sense of apparent need that resounds the ‘oh so’ frightful tales in the movies. And while we may urgently want to race away from it, to some degree, leaving it behind almost feels remote. We allow it to take us hostage like the monster in the screen and somehow, it becomes our friend, yet undeniably, we are afraid. Our fears can become so intense that they predictably override our faith because silently, a solution is not what we want. We don’t want change, or we want the change with very little effort. Such as in the horror films, by human nature, what’s wanted is a chance to complain or a reason to run, but not actually a chance to change the set of circumstances. And in order to change the set of circumstances, well now, that requires just a bit of bravery, doesn’t it? But we can’t be fearless and afraid at the same time. Or can we?
Your ‘Innerwood’ is a powerful place. It is where faith resides. It is where courage dwells. In order to release the beast, the monster and the fear, you have to muster up a little faith and turn something around. Instead of being persuaded by the imaginary monsters or little signals caught from the corner of your eye, you can start conceptualizing signs of hope with that very same enthusiasm. It takes a lot of heart to be brave and embrace a life full of radical changes and transforming moments. And most of the time, it requires far less courage to give in to the illusion and deal with things that are less painful, more conventional, more popular or easier to understand. But the braver the choices we make, the less fear we hold about confronting anything: monsters, dragons, and demons included.
Your faith can tower over the 50-foot oak tree that hovers the window seal. After all, it really doesn’t matter if the tree branches transform into a scene of sheer terror, or if the monsters in the screen breathe fire, expel green gob, or draw near with teeth the extent of over-sized shears. The hope is real – and the monster isn’t. It’s that simple.
As October departs with it’s mystical moon and force to be fearless, November arrives with its change-making vibes and positive imagination. No matter how scary the winds or conflicting the encounter, you can still journey in a very promising direction. Perhaps, you’ll get a glimpse of something beckoning you and a slight sign of something encouraging too. Come what may, I can confidently tell you that it’s not the monsters that will get the better of you, rather, your lack of faith. Trust yourself and have faith that whatever support you need, you’ll find.