Sometime ago someone saw a rat on the balcony of his house. Not a metaphorical rat, either. A real Norwegian rat, with a long tail and angry little eyes. That person ignored the rat, in the hopes it would go away. And that person never revealed he had seen a rat until much later, when he was hard pressed to tell the tale. Needless to say, the rat came back and brought his friends till another person in the same house realized there was a rat problem. She had not seen the rat but only the mess they left behind. Upon seeing such evidence, she took measures to ensure the rats stayed away from the house. It was a battle, but finally the rats stopped coming to the balcony and–mercifully, they never entered the house.
But what is the moral of the same? Maybe sometimes denial is real method of self-defense. Other times, it is just a way to kick the can down the road or a temporary refuge, a place of escape until the problem escalates so much that it cannot be ignored. But really, is it not wiser to take on the rats in our lives as soon as we become aware of them? Why wait till they become a bigger problem?
I believe we do better when we confront problems, break them down in bite-size elements, and find opportunity to change and grow. Sometimes, we will have to stretch ourselves uncomfortably to take on what we would like to deny. But it is a worthy effort and a journey with rewards.
It is healthier to live facing the problems, never feeling victimized and powerless. Sure, sometimes we are going to botch the solutions, we are going to need to ask for help, and many times we are going to feel hurt. But we can change, and we can make improvements without waiting for the rats to infest larger areas of our home or take us down somehow.
Ask yourself, what should I confront? And then be kind and compassionate towards yourself, take small steps to change, be willing to stand up when you fall, and keep moving forward one little step at the time. Eventually, you will win the battle, you will have stared the rats in the face, and ultimately they will be gone.
Life is Amazing! Live well.
Anna Grassini, JD
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