Have you ever seen the movie, It Follows? It’s a scary movie about a girl who suddenly finds herself being followed by a creature that can make itself look like anyone. Its goal is to kill her and everyone else it’s followed throughout time. But it only follows one person at a time, and each person who is being followed has the ability to pass it on to someone new. If it manages to kill that someone new, it goes back to the previous person.
I watched this movie back in October I think, around Halloween. I’m not a huge fan of scary movies, but my husband is, so every now and then I’ll watch one with him.
Okay, so I watched it over 8 months ago, why am I bringing it up now?
To be honest, I had kind of forgotten about this scary movie (I probably mentally blocked it), but for some reason, it bubbled its way back into my mind this morning.
Has that ever happened to you? Something random and seemingly unrelated to anything makes its way into your mind at random? When I was in yoga teacher training, one of my teachers talked about the mind as if it were a lake, and within that lake all of our thoughts, memories and experiences are stored. The most relevant and active information rests at the top of the lake, and the less relevant or forgotten things sink down to the bottom, settling there. But, every now an then, it’s as if the bottom of the lake is stirred by a fish swimming by, and the thoughts and memories that were settled on the bottom will bubble back up to the top.
I really liked this analogy. It made a lot of sense to me.
I don’t think that these memories bubbling up are ever truly random. I think the “fish” that swam near the bottom, sending this memory back up to the surface, was sent there by something I’ve been thinking about lately…
We all have our own demons (addictions, traumas, etc), and unless we deal with them, they’ll follow us around everywhere we go. We can run from them and try to hide from them, but in the end, they always find us, and sometimes they can wreak havoc on our lives. They affect the way we think, the way we feel, the way we act, the way we see things, and the way we interact with others among other things.
In this movie, the girl was extremely affected by the thing that was following her. It affected everything she did similarly to how our demons would (albeit probably a bit more extremely). It was like the physical incarnation of her own demons, following her around. And like her own internal demons, only she could see it.
Although she tried, eventually she realized that she couldn’t run from this “demon” forever. And neither can we. We can’t keep running from our demons. We have to deal with them, process them, learn to grow from them. Otherwise they’ll keep showing up and finding ways to make our lives hard.
I have some demons of my own that have been making themselves known lately (as they have periodically throughout my life). I don’t think I was even aware of them until recently. I mean, I’ve always known they were there, but I don’t think I really knew what they were, or why they were following me around. Now, I’m able to recognize them. They’re familiar, and I know where they come from. I have to stop running from them and pretending like they don’t exist. I have to face them, figure out how to process them, accept them, and learn from them.
Only then will I experience relief. Only then will I be able to live a more productive life. Only then, when they decide to pop back up, will I be able to say, I know you, and you don’t scare me, and then move on with my day.
Never in my wildest dreams would I ever have thought that a scary movie would be applicable to my real life, and yet this one is. Who knows, maybe if I dig a little deeper, I’ll find other scary movies that apply. But I certainly hope not.