I have an unusual way to describe the emotions I feel. When they are good, I call these emotions Sprites. When they are not good, I call those emotions Gremlins. Let me explain.
In the undulations of the brain where Sprites live, happiness and sunlight pervades everything. Love abounds. Endorphins float freely, making every cell in your head delightfully dance with joy. Puffy clouds float in the sky. Vivid, sweet-smelling flowers grow wildly. In the midst of this wonderful scene stands a Sprite – that mythical creature with wings (think Tinkerbell) who files around spreading fairy dust and singing songs that are relaxing and calming. Goodness and truth flow from the Sprite. Where she alights, all is right with the world.
OK. Clearly, this image is over the top, but I suspect you get my meaning. Sprites represent positive emotions. Gremlins, on the other hand, are at the other end of the spectrum.
Some of you may recall the movie Gremlins that dates back to the 1980’s. In that movie, when exposed to water, the cute Gremlin would replicate at an alarming rate. Unfortunately, all of the replicas had unkind and unhelpful personalities. Destruction and havoc followed wherever the replica Gremlins went. In my assessment, Gremlins are an apt comparison for our negative emotions. When feelings like doubt and fear creep into our consciousness or subconsciousness, those emotions spread like wildfire. Complicating things further, these insidious emotions are infectious, bringing darkness and uncertainty in their wake. It becomes difficult to act. Frozen by the idea that nothing is possible, it is easy to slide into depression and self-doubt.
Living in fairyland with the Sprites is a wonderful, utopian idea. However, things happen in life that bring the Gremlins to our doors. Sometimes, we let them in. Sometimes, they push their way in. Everyone has experienced this. Gremlins get in. What we must learn is how to manage our Gremlins.
I have allowed the Gremlins to pervade my mind and my soul way too many times. When my sister put me in the middle of her chaos, when she represented that I acted in a way I had not, I was truly devastated. Gremlins sprinted their way into every corner of my brain. Doubt and despair descended like a heavy blanket. Questions swirled in my head for which I had no answers. Why had she done this? Why did she turn her back on me? Weren’t we best friends? Why am I being accused of something I did not do? For quite a while, I could not crawl out from under these emotions. Sad to my core, I looked like I had an anchor mounted on my back. Eventually, I pulled inward and began studying the situation. I realized I had not created this. Unfairly, it was visited upon me. Nonetheless, I had to push back. Through my pain and despite my fears, I had to protect myself and my family. Yes, this hurt, but it had to be done. Every day, I pulled from my internal traits to remind myself that I would get past this. By so doing, I pushed the Gremlins back and allowed the Sprites to return.
Sometimes, I’ve given the Gremlins permission to enter when I’ve acted improperly. An unkind word, a snippy remark, a selfish action - - all of these release my Gremlins. Acknowledging that I was wrong, knowing that an apology was warranted, I took the first step towards eclipsing the power of the Gremlins. Taking the time to earnestly apologize and working to repair the wound I caused pushed the Gremlins further back.
If you find yourself drowning in Gremlins, start simply and remember of what you are made. Your internal traits, your beauty, your strength, your resilience can never be taken from you. From within your core, draw from these traits and assess what circumstance allowed the Gremlins to dance freely. Did someone else release the Gremlins, or did you? This one question will start you on the path away from the Gremlins and into the land of the Sprites.
Fairy dust may be mythical, but it is still magical. Exorcise the Gremlins with a little Spritely magic.