February 5, 2024

How to Ghost the Ghost.


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First of all, remember that you are breaking it off with a ghost—and ghosts are known for lingering.

Clinging to the walls and edges of your mind, singing achy songs of longing, whispering words of memory and time.

The ghost coos misty words around you that say: “Stay with me. I’ll keep your thoughts stuck in the past where they don’t have to change.”

So you’ve got to be strong because the ghost’s superpower is amnesia. When the ghost calls, you forget your strengths and abilities. Your overall badasserie.

You settle for less in every way, making the ghost happy. You settle for less in work, relationships, or healthy practices. You forget how you’ve created a personhood without the ghost, a person who can hear and heed her own beliefs, and you’ll forget how far you’ve come because the ghost loves to pull you back.

The ghost delights in your missteps and mistakes, taking on faces and voices from yesteryears, relishing in the shame and suffering. The ghost serves you food made of comeuppance and crow, wagging a misty hand in front of your face to say: “See? Told you so.”

The ghost plays old movies where you were abandoned or neglected, reinforcing the idea that you can’t make better choices. And then the ghost wraps you up in its vaporous arms, reassuring you that real change—the change you thought you had—will never really happen.

But the thing is this: None of what the ghost is doing works much anymore. Somewhere along the way you created new habits of thinking and being that feel stronger. Feel healthy. Feel real. And these habits come with tiny wings that start to lift you out and above and into the now. This now is the ghost’s enemy because it is filled with forgiveness, compassion, and your true kryptonite—the unknown.

How will you survive without the ghost’s comfort?

You decide you love flying. And even though you don’t exactly know where your wings will take you, you’ve cleared the area and made way for this unknown without the ghost and its past chaining you back. You’re no longer waiting for life to find you, talking to the ghost in a language you can now barely understand.

Now you say: “Good riddance, Ghost! You were always just a way of thinking, and I’m not taking you with me anymore.”


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