Brene Brown talks about gremlins in our lives. (If you have never checked out Brene Brown, you need to do so! Here’s just one link to one of her excellent talks on vulnerability):
Gremlins are nasty old meanies that suck the marrow right out of your soul’s deepest core.
Gremlins can terrorize you, petrify you, and rule you. All within the hidden structure of your inner being. Sometimes you don’t even know they exist. Or you might have your suspicions but you are too cowed to name them for what they actually are.
Gremlins have a way of showing up at the most inopportune times too. Like just as you are hitting the send key on an important email or an especially honest email or maybe even that vulnerable blog post. Or when you’re walking into a business presentation or a job interview. Or maybe even when you doing something so routine as setting out the meal you prepared for your loved ones. Or when you are opening up your heart to let someone love you for you. Or when you step on the scales in the morning or look at yourself in the mirror as you prep for the day. Or when you’re sitting in church or seeking for God’s presence.
Any time you are putting yourself in the line of fire, whether it be your naked soul standing in the way of love coming to you or your business suit attired persona standing in the way of possible criticism or guaranteed push-back, gremlins love nothing better than to come lamblasting out of nowhere and undermining every fiber of your being. They bombard you with doubts, fears, and haunts of the past until you believe that you have no leg to stand on and that you have no backbone wherewith to present yourself as a fully equipped being for whatever task is before you.
I think sometimes the gremlin that tells us that we are not worthy of being loved, that we need to meet a certain bar of performance before being loved – that gremlin is the most subtle and the most debilitating. Because that “love-has-conditions” gremlin attacks the deepest core of who we are. We are created by Love himself and we are created for Love and we are created to be love. Our beings can not take the overwhelming taxing effort needed to meet the demands of what we think love requires. We were made to be. And in that being, we are loved.
Gremlins can not snatch away that love that is ours. Gremlins can not intersect that love with destructive missiles unless we give them permission to. That gremlin that tells us we have no right because of ___________ or that we have no voice because of ____________ (fill in the blank with whatever gremlin is your loudest naysayer). That gremlin needs to be called out for what it is and silenced with a few well-aimed daggers that we have in our arsenal.
That arsenal that we have is vast and powerful but too often we fail to remember that we have it at our disposal. I think each person has their own arsenal at their disposal that works most effectively for them but just to name a few that I know I have in mine: friends (the kind of friends who yes, tell you the truth no matter what, but also show you they love you no matter what), my own voice to tell the gremlins to shut up, strength from past successes, confidence in who others tell me I am when I can’t see the truth for what it is, and most of all the ever present, all consuming Authentic Love pursuing us and filling us regardless of how the gremlins may be tearing us to shreds.
This power to take the gremlins to the arena and spar with them and cut them down often escapes us in the fear of their psychological sway over us. We focus our eyes on the terror of the moment and we begin to listen to their hissing lies. The lies of who we think we are, defined by mistakes of our past or voices in our past who shot us down and discredited us until we believed that we were somehow less of a person than those around us or less of an intelligent being and unable to make wise choices. These lies blind us and blur the reality of the power that lies within us to push through the fear of the gremlins and master the task before us.
Why is it that we allow the gremlins to haunt us? To trap us in our past? To stilt our dreams and sometimes even completely suffocate them? Why do we acquiesce to these lies instead of fighting for our validity that we know we have in the Love that defines us regardless of our present situation or our past mistakes, even our present screw-ups? When did we become so defined by the bar of performance, the ridiculous trends of our society, the mandates of organized religion, and the status demands of social media that we no longer are allowed to be our own uniquely loved selves living through the freedom of God’s relentless love and changing the world around us through one authentic moment, one dare to chase our dreams, one brave move to be ourselves without apology?
As long as the gremlins are allowed to stifle our inner soul with their terrorizing lies, we will continue to live trapped in our own interpretations of who we are when in reality we are released by the power given to us by Love himself. The power to change the world with untethered ferocity in our souls to pursue the calling and dreams that only God has imagined for us and breathed into our very core.