Haunted by Happiness (A Halloween Treat)
Updated: Nov 7, 2020
Happy Halloween, Pumpkins! Booooo!
I love this time of year, the beginning of the holiday season. The changing of the leaves, the carving of pumpkins, pumpkin spice everything, fuzzy sweaters, and cozy blankets. And for those of you who know me, you probably know that I LOVE costumes — and Halloween is the costume holiday!
Even with all the fun and pumpkins, there also can be a scary side. Ghosts, ghouls, and goblins, oh my! Not to mention things that go bump in the night.
Now let’s just laugh at that - it’s just a little hocus pocus! Things are only scary if you choose to make them scary - if you give them that power.
Do you remember the ridiculous boggart in Harry Potter? If you are not familiar with the story, this “monster” fed off fears - so the more fearful a person became, the bigger and scarier it grew. The spell remedy? Laughter. As soon as someone laughed and made it seem silly (like a spider that rollerskates), then it lost its power.
When recovering and learning to rewire my brain, it was helpful to look at fear like this. Things only have power when we *choose* to give them power, whether it be pain, sadness, negative thoughts, a traumatic situation, or anything else! And it works the other way as we are the creators of our reality and we get to decide how we experience life. So how do we choose how to not live out of fear and to consciously create our thoughts, behaviors, and actions?
The first step is awareness. You *do* have a choice, no matter what it feels like. So what is haunting you?
The Ghost of Traumas Past
We’ve all got them. For me, mine were ancient and very spooky - the main one being characterized by the fear of being trapped, yet again. My ghosts dictated how I behaved in life and followed me everywhere I went. They decided how I showed up, what I avoided, and the ultimate terror that new ghosts would come and I’d be extra haunted all over again.
In all honesty, it was not about needing an exorcism, although that is what I thought brain retraining was about - getting rid of things I didn’t want.
When healing from The Ghost of Traumas Past, it was more about making peace with my ghosts rather than forgetting or exorcising them. It was and is about regaining your power in life. Now that I have calmed my limbic response, they do not have power because I have rewired fear itself. My experiences in life have affected who I am, but they no longer have fear and negative emotions attached to them - they just are, like the moon just is.
The reason that Ghosts of Traumas Past are so terrifying is because they follow you through life (like toilet paper on the bottom of your shoes, but much, much worse) and affect your present and future.
The Ghost of Lost Todays
This ghost prevents you from living fully today by tying you up and keeping you stuck in past traumas. This unfriendly ghost prevents you from receiving all the good things that God/Source/The Universe has in store for you, prevents you from stepping into your limitless potential, and prevents you from giving and receiving love. The Ghost of Traumas Past fuels The Ghost of Lost Todays.
When things affect your daily life and keep you from your boundless potential, something needs to change pronto. The biggest spell I cast when rewiring was learning how to give and receive love. How did I learn? Well, it’s been a process. Calming the limbic response to fear and trauma by slowly proving to myself that fear was an illusion. Proving to myself that people are inherently good, that love and vulnerability are superpowers, that I have a huge heart and love comes easily to me, and that I attract high-vibrational people into my life was essential. I am living proof that you *can* slowly face your fears and rewire fear to become instead laughable and even fun.
The Ghost of What Could Be
This ghost is quite an artist because he is always painting the future. The only problem is, it’s a frightening, dismal version of YOUR future based entirely on negative things that happened to you in the past. It’s a future that keeps you stuck, because after all, how can you step into your limitless potential when a giant ghost is blocking the doorway painting pictures of scary things that will happen to you?
When you freeze and become too afraid to act due to the fear of The Ghost of Traumas Past, and when you allow the Ghost of Lost Todays to tie you up — you give your future to The Ghost of What Could Be, who then proceeds to steal it.
That’s not the way it has to be!
Many people sadly give up the struggle and surrender after multiple tries using many methods to eradicate the ghosts. Fumigation and calling in Ghost Busters does not help. Yelling for help does not work. Waiting for someone to rescue you does not work.
How then do you make peace with your past, present, and future when so many ghosts are haunting you? Who even has time when dealing with them takes up all your days?
Here’s How to Befriend Your Ghosts
Fear is an emotion, that’s all. Fear is a choice; it’s contagious and it feeds off itself. When rewiring the limbic system, we learn to heal and expand by ceasing to identify with our ghosts. One of the main aspects is learning to laugh and play. When we laugh and play, we stop giving our power away to fear. Yay!
Learning to laugh and play is a skill and it can be learned. When healing from Limbic System Dysfunction, it may feel like you have forgotten how to have fun and play, or perhaps you feel like you never have. I know I felt that way.
What are some simple things we can do to start being haunted by happiness rather than haunted by scary ghosts?
You may have read my post about The Pursuit of Play (if not, click here). One of the first things I recommend to my clients is to start thinking about what you enjoyed as a child. Simple, yet very effective. For me, I loved dress up, so I started exploring that when rewiring and learning to play. Now, on the other side of healing, I truly love dress up, playing pretend, and general silliness.
This Week’s Fun Challenge
Tis’ the season of costumes, so here’s this week’s Pursuit of Play/ Fun Challenge: What is a costume or fun outfit that you can wear right now? Can you start imagining a character that goes along with this? What superpowers do you possess? When you feel fear, can you challenge yourself to face that fear as this character?
Here is mine: Octavia Merryweather - part butterfly, part fear-chaser. She laughs and sings in the face of fear, flying into her limitless potential while wearing a vintage blue spandex bodysuit with colorful chiffon wings! Her superpowers are superhuman motivation, optimi