Nobody talks about Satan anymore. It used to be that people acknowledged that the world was full of temptations. They externalized it, named it, knew it for what it was--a manifestation of the dark forces in the world that would lead us away from a happy, productive life. They knew that these forces were tricky, and that they could whisper in our ear. They whisper things like, “Don’t eat that salad. You have a sniffle. Dark chocolate helps that.” Things like, “Don’t work on your novel right now. You need to relax first. Just watch a few cute videos of kittens on youtube.” Things like, “You can’t exercise this morning. You got up three times last night to pee. You’re tired. Sleep in.” Sometimes these voices are funny. Sometimes they’re seductive. Sometimes they’re harsh. And, often, they work. We fall before we even know we’ve fallen. We had every intention of sitting down to write--but, somehow, a phone call derailed us, then a pile of laundry, then a long lunch. Suddenly, we’re out of time, and we haven’t done anything we needed to do, just stuff that entered our brain and sat there, demanding our attention.
And then the evil demon voices really have a field day. “You’re lazy,” they hoot, “you’ll never be a writer!” They cackle their evil cackle and leave us feeling empty.
These demons need to be wrassled to the ground.
There is an entire self-help culture out there based on the idea that there are positive, inexplicable forces out there that want to help you. But anyone can see that this is a dangerous world. I’m here to tell you that--while that may be true--I know the opposite is true. Just as sure as the wave will seek the sandcastle, there are forces that want you to fail, that want to destroy what you create. Yes, that’s right, I believe the world is full of demons and devils, and I believe that those demons are hellbent on making us unhappy. Not actively miserable--that might actually be enough to snap us into making a life change--just unhappy. They want to remove the joy in our lives so that we are left with vague feelings of ennui. They want us to feel that something is wrong, but leave us unable to figure out what it is, so that we try to fix it with a new hairstyle. And we lost something when we stopped acknowledging the power of those forces. They are powerful, and they are real.
And it is our human work to defeat them. How? By doing our work. By living a quality life. By treating ourselves and others with kindness, always.
So if you are someone who is blocked in your life--this blog’s for you.