Thursday, March 13, 2008

Friendly and not-so-friendly ghosts

When you begin thinking about who you want in your life, the kind of person who makes sense, you may be influenced by a ghost — not Casper and not necessarily friendly, but someone who haunts you without your even being aware of it. This ghost is someone who rearranged the emotional furniture in your room and is likely to be someone who you cared about but who didn’t turn out as you wished. It may be a first grade teacher who seemed to like your best friend best, a best friend who moved away, or someone who didn’t give you a Valentine. It could also be a traumatic experience, like overhearing a remark from a supposed friend that hurt your feelings.

And just like ghosts, who are assumed to be souls who haven’t found peace, your emotional ghosts are fueled by lack of resolution in your head or heart. Because this chapter is about laying the groundwork to go and do something that’s scary and fun and exciting (that is, date), it’s a great idea to have as much of your energy at your disposal as possible. Therefore, an exorcism is in order. You don’t need holy water, incense, or a priest, just a bit of courage and a paper and pencil. If you’re haunted by an emotional ghost (what an image!), write down the specific characteristics of the ghost — turn on the light of your intellect and understanding.

Ghosts need darkness, fear, and tension to survive. You may not be able to get rid of all the thoughts, but you can probably keep yourself from being haunted by just getting all those thoughts out into the open and into your notebook. Ghosts can only haunt you in the dark, so turn the light on.

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