When we were children, we watched scary movies that unveiled giant menacing monsters, browbeating beasts, and daunting demons and dragons that stood as tall as the 50-foot oak tree embedded outside our bedroom window. In the days, the tree resembled a tall magician with a magic wand that would repel those barbarian behemoths and beasts that recurred to terrify us in our sleep. But in the nights, the wind shifted the leaves transforming them into fear-provoking mountains of a shadow. Our imaginations ran away with us and enticed us to believe that the terrifying creatures on the screen not only existed, but also endeavored to extend through the black and white optical glass surface to devour us.
As we became adults, we learned to differentiate between real and imaginative and 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.
Indeed, your mind can envisage monsters, demons and freaks, and each one is peculiar and scarier than the last. But your mind can also generate an actual base of faith and fear – which has the power to eat you alive – or literally save you. And all you have to do is let it. 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 as a reinforcement of how courageous we can be. In most cases, fear makes 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 feels almost remote. We allow it to take us hostage like the monster in the screen and though it has become our friend, 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. Well now, that requires a bit of bravery, and you can’t be fearless and afraid at the same time – can you?
Your ‘Innerwood’ is a powerful place. It is where the faith resides. 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 have to start conceptualizing signs of hope with the 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 you should also understand that the braver the choices you make, the less fear you will have about confronting anything; monsters, dragons, and demons included.
Your faith can prevail over than the 50-foot oak tree near the window seal. You can find it once more. 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.
Positive imagination is on the horizon. Perhaps, you’ll get a glimpse of something beckoning you and a very slight sign of something encouraging too. I can confidently tell you, it’s not the monsters that will get the better of you. It’s your faith that will move you along.