Has anyone ever had an elephant or several elephants living with them? You know, those topics that everyone is aware of, but no one really wants to discuss. I have learnt from personal experience that this is the best way to grow an elephant into a strong and healthy mammoth. All elephants start tiny and can be eliminated very early by walking right up to them and introducing yourself. However, if fed a consistent diet of being ignored or avoided, they can gain momentum and grow into enormous proportions not only affecting the energy, but completely take over an environment.
Some people can squish past these guys to get in and out of the door, but I have never really been good at this. I invariably get to a point, generally sooner rather than later, where I have either grown it to a ridiculous size in my own head and it needs to be dealt with immediately, or it is still small enough to everyone involved that by addressing it with a few second conversation, it disappears.
My son Ben didn’t like elephants either. He would sometimes come and sit while I was in the kitchen or doing something and just kind of hang there. I would look up and he would be staring at me. He would hold the gaze for a second or two then smile and look away. That was always my queue to give him 100% of my attention and say “okay, what’s going on?” I remember he would grin and say, “I want to tell you something, but I don’t want you to get mad at me.” I learnt from experience that when he started with this it was usually nothing at all. I reminded him that the things he thought I would get mad at I never did. Elephants never grew past tiny between us. There is nothing that keeps elephants away better than consistent open and honest communication.
I overheard two medical students discussing different patient scenarios in a café recently. From the limited pieces I could put together, they were looking at a variety of symptoms and what had been ruled out and what was still a possibility to determine a diagnosis. It reminded me that sometimes it is what we communicate non-verbally, that is closer to the truth.
I think about my life and the variety of masks I have metaphorically collected and worn over the years. It has become so easy to act one way and feel something completely different. I have at times looked at myself in the mirror and wondered who I really am. I have never been good at sharing the negative or challenging times in my life, so for me, my actions are justified 😊. Alternatively, we could just call on social media! How simple it is to portray our lives as rosy and wonderful for the outside world to conclude we have the perfect life and our grass is much greener. We choose what we share, showing people what we want them to see and subsequently believe.
These next few weeks are a common time of the year to take stock of where we have come from and where we are going. It is a time for planning and preparing for a new year. We don’t always know where we are going and sometimes the hardest part is to find ‘our niche’ so to speak. It can be hard to believe what we can’t see … yet, and sometimes we just have to blindly put it out to the Universe and trust that everything happens the way it is supposed to. This is also the time to watch for opportunities we wouldn’t ordinarily see.
So, if wishes grew on trees, what would you wish for?
My wishes for you are a peaceful mind, so many moments of pure happiness, numerous priceless memories and the best of good health. My hope is that you will introduce yourself to all your resident elephants in every area of your lives and evict them before the year ends. May you communicate openly and honestly and have the most amazing relationships like I am so grateful to have had with my Benny. Much love