We often think of the monkey on our back as something that someone else is doing to us. We say things like, “I would have more time if my boss would just let me be,” or “If I had a raise I could get out of debt.” Those are the alternative truths we tell ourselves, so we don’t have to face the real facts. It is natural for a person to want to explain their issues or problems as something they have no control of. It helps justify that we aren’t dumb enough to get ourselves into a bad situation. The alternative truth, in some ways, is healthy mentally for us to have more confidence in ourselves, as a productive member of society. But, the real truth, is the only way to set yourself free. You must face your truth that you got yourself into all the messes, and the monkey was created by you and only you.
So step one to any recovery program is to always admit you have a problem, so good, you are reading this blog, and you know you have a problem. Now face the truth and change!! You might have many problems such as debt, low paying job, stressful home life, lack of motivation, depression, or any other of the millions of issues out there. Make a list of the problems bogging you down, and list them in order from the ones driving you crazy to the one’s that you could make due with another day.
My biggest monkey that I struggled with was so dumb that I laughed when I pin pointed it as the root of much of my stress. I am a micro manager and have trouble letting go of things to others. I know it is so bad!! But, I was getting real bad and it was effecting my work, home life, relationships, and everything. I knew the best way to do everything and I wouldn’t let people do things for me because it would be done wrong. I started with baby steps such as let my wife drive more and make no comments. Then I went big and I gave up all control of our home schedule to my wife, and just went with what she said. It was a mess at times and I struggled to keep my mouth shut. I accepted that my wife would do things differently and learned to love her way over the years. I also gave up control in my teaching to my students. I realized that I could teach the greatest lesson ever, but the student had the option to learn of zone out. I started to lecture much less, and put the learning into my student’s hands. We do many projects, essays, research, and they get to choose which they want to do and which they don’t want to do at times. I have less stress and the students learn more hands on by following their interests. I learned to give my own children more choices with consequences, either being positive or negative, and I let them make the mistakes to learn. Sometimes it means making a mess, then showing them the work it takes to clean it up themselves. I don’t get stress because it is a life lesson instead of a mess, and over time we have less messes in our home.
I could have used alternative truths and continued on my path of, “everyone else is the problem and I’ll just do it all.” Instead, I understood that I am in complete control of me and my stress. I choose the path I go down, and how I use my emotions to create stress or less stress. I am in control of my work and started interviewing the districts I work for. I asked more questions to the interviewer in my last job interview because I choose whether I work there or not. We control our bills and our incomes. We control if we break down in our cars because we control their maintenance and up keep. We control our speeding tickets and when we are always running late. Make the changes today and stop believing the alternative truths in your life. Take responsibility for your truth and make the best of your life with no monkey on your back. Be truthful to yourself and help yourself face your truths.