I should have been scared of the effect holding everything in was having on me. Physically, emotionally and spiritually. I should have noticed the elephant represented the next chapter of my life and the longer I continued to ignore it, the worse I felt.
It sits there quietly, right smack dab in the middle of the room. It's huge. Its eyes plead with us to acknowledge it and set it free. Massive shoulders hold everything on them, sagging under the pressure. Yet, everyone side steps it, skirts around it, and ignores its presence without so much as a glance. Occasionally, it will rumble, stomp and try its damnedest to make us pay attention. We might, momentarily. We may think about addressing it. Only to stop as the words dangle from our tongue. Quickly throwing something pretty over it, gloss of some kind, so that we may continue on pretending it’s not real. But, inside, we all know it’s there, we feel it hovering, its silent pleas echoing in our minds.
There is a 14,000 pound elephant in the room and no one wants to talk about it.
Well, we may want to talk about it. Bring it out into the light and deal with it once and for all. But something always seems to hold us back. Speaking about it will make it real. It will solidify the knowledge that there is something wrong. No one wants to admit the elephant in the room is there. Bringing what the elephant represents to light could wreak havoc and incredible destruction, leaving pieces of your world scattered. But, ignoring it does far more damage. If something is broken, if something needs to be addressed and dealt with, and isn't, it becomes bigger than you and takes over your world. It controls your emotions, your happiness and your entire life. Because it's there. Always there. Taunting you. Taking far more energy to ignore and pretend it isn't sitting in the corner of every facet of your life, than it would to confront it once and for all, and then, begin the healing process or figuring out what comes next.
Ignoring something in hopes that it will go away - never works.
In fact, ignoring it makes it worse. You go around and around it inside your mind, possibly making it much bigger than reality in the process, and end up making yourself crazy with worry. Words dying to be spoken out loud, in your truth, clamoring in your mind, begging for release, add to the tension that surrounds you. You withdraw even further, lost in your thoughts about what needs to be addressed.
Reactive instead of proactive.
Your silence buys you nothing but more time. Time to worry. Time to be sad. Time to berate yourself for not speaking your truths about something that is impacting everyone. The elephant sits there. Everyone feels it. Everyone knows about it. Everyone has something to say about it. But, alas, no one does.
So, the pressure builds and builds, becoming unbearable. Your heart hurts, your head aches and the negative builds inside your soul. You become angry; at yourself, the situation, the fact that no one wants to bring the elephant out into the light. Keeping up appearances that everything is fine, nothing is broken and living that lie - an exhausting charade. A damaging charade. Because you know the longer it goes on, the more entrenched that elephant gets, the harder it will be to release it.
Then, all of a sudden, something small creeps in. Tiny. A mouse that terrifies the elephant into bursting out into the open, giving no one time to prepare. Something trivial, meaningless, that all of a sudden has huge implications. Because it forced everyone to see what they had been avoiding all along. The truth. The inevitable truth and the reality that came along with it. Instead of approaching the elephant cautiously, slowly, step by step, the pressure you have allowed to build up over time reaches the boiling point and this small trivial thing that never would have bothered you in the past, causes you to blow up and expose the elephant in a far less productive way.
How many times in your life have you let something go, over and over again, only to lose your mind over something stupid that has nothing to do with anything? I'm raising my hand here. I have. More than once. I let that damn elephant inside my world, where it sat for far too long. I was scared of what would happen if I addressed it. Scared of the fallout. I was frightened that I wouldn’t have the confidence to see myself through what addressing the elephant would bring forth. Thus allowing the pressure to build inside of me. Until something small and inconsequential pushed me to be reactive instead of proactive.
The elephant in the room was my truth and I was afraid to own it.
Instead of being afraid of what the elephant represented, I should have been more afraid of my truths never coming to light. I should have been scared of the effect holding everything in was having on me. Physically, emotionally and spiritually. I should have noticed the elephant represented the next chapter of my life and the longer I continued to ignore it, the worse I felt. The angrier I became that nothing was changing, nothing was happening and the happiness I longed for, was elusive as ever.
I couldn't hold anyone else responsible. I couldn't resent the fact no one else would address it. As much as a part of me wished someone would pulled the cover off and look me square in the eye and tell me everything was going to be fine, they would make the changes I needed, I knew whose responsibility it was. Mine. Only mine.
The elephants in our rooms are the guardians of our stories and our secrets. They hold the key to the cathartic release bringing all the remains unsaid out into the light. Not talking about something may make some feel better but it doesn't actually heal anything. The poet Saadi is quoted as saying “Have patience. All things are difficult before they become easy.” Meaning the difficult part is opening our mouths to address what needs to be brought out into the light. Secrets hurt our souls. Once the talking starts, difficult at first, it will become easier over time.
Dig deep to find the courage to release the elephant in your room. It will never move on until you do. Healing will start with the first word, first action you take to shed the darkness and bring light onto a matter so very big in your life. Whatever it is. Use your words. Approach, not attack. Be strong in your convictions and drive to live life authentically. You deserve it.
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