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Leave the Elephants to the Circus

Updated: Jan 11

Ahhh the proverbial elephants in the room. You know - those things we don't talk about that continue to grow until they finally force our attention. Maybe it's a health condition we are choosing to remain in denial about. Or a relationship problem we're afraid to confront. Sometimes we may have mistakes we've made that we don't want to admit. Or important decisions we are avoiding. We can coexist for a surprisingly long time pretending that these giant size issues are perfectly fine, or even at times convincing ourselves they aren't there at all, even as we step around them 100 times a day. But here's the trouble with elephants...

They take up an enormous amount of space. An average full grown elephant stands 8 to 13 feet high, and weighs in at between 2 and 7 TONS. That's a really BIG animal to be tromping through your house. They leave no extra room on the couch and break things often, because they don't really fit well in a confined area.

Our unaddressed traumas and dramas are much the same. It's a sticky and exhausting situation continually dancing around the things that need to be said and done, that haven't been. Because ignoring them almost never makes them go away, and if it does it usually is in the form of a relationship ending, which often isn't what we actually wanted. Usually, though, the un-dealt with items remain, dominating our mental and emotional space in decidedly uncomfortable ways. Crashing into our happiness and peace, and even causing physical ailments. Stress damages and can kill - body, mind and spirit. Yes, confronting painful things can be intense and scary. But the increased discomfort that comes from opening up those conversations pales in comparison to a lifetime of carrying such heavy loads around with you unchecked. Be brave.

They need food. A large amount of it. An adult elephant can eat up to 300 pounds of food a DAY. It's a pretty huge grocery bill to keep an elephant fed.

What do our ignored issues feed on? US!!! Our mental clarity and emotional harmony. Our ability to care for and trust others and ourselves fully. Our internal drive and motivation. Our connection to all things spiritual. Suppressed fears and problems can literally eat us alive from the inside out, and their appetite is insatiable. Isn't it time to talk about some things, so future brain and heart fuel can go towards learning, nurturing and loving instead?

They poop. 8 to 10 times a day. That adds up to an awful lot know. The mess! The smell! Not to mention the continual risk of stepping in it. No thank you.

But honestly, that's nothing compared to the BS generated while living with unresolved conflicts. The justifications, excuses and sometimes complete and total lies we need to tell ourselves and others, to be able to continue to deny the obvious, are quite frankly total crap. Be better than that! Honesty and authenticity are worth their weight in gold. And I'd much rather have a pile of gold than a pile of...that. Wouldn't you?

So let's leave the elephants to the circus. Politely ask them to relocate, or forcibly usher them out if needed. Talk it through (maybe even with a therapist) when necessary. Some elephants simply wanted to be noticed, and will quietly leave on their own once they have been. Others have become rather comfortable in your living room, and might put up some resistance to the idea of being moved. Whatever it takes, though, look them squarely in the eye and make it clear that you no longer want to be roommates. 5 tons lighter, you'll be really glad you did.

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