About a month ago, my family and I moved from a three bedroom house to a two bedroom house. Although the new house was an upgrade in almost every way, the downgrade in the number of bedrooms meant that my six-year-old and three-year-old sons would share a room for the first time in their lives. My three-year-old is challenging to put to bed, to put it mildly. Now that the two boys are sharing a room, my six-year-old has begun planting the idea in his little brother's impressionable mind that there is a monster in their closet, for the sake of coercing the three-year-old to stay in bed at night. The longer he avoids checking out the closet and confronting his fear, the bigger, scarier, and uglier the monster will become.
Of course, this is a common fear for many youngsters, but for many of us as adults, the monsters are very real.
As adults, the monsters in our closets may be the deep, dark secrets we're afraid of, such as personal failings or continuing weaknesses we may be hiding from our family or friends. They may be uncomfortable truths we don't want to acknowledge about our group, such as the spreading of a distrustful, negative culture or even that the organization is faltering at the precipice of failure. It can be scary to even think about those monsters that are lurking in the darkness, and even more terrifying to think about dragging them into the light.
Or maybe our monsters are our fears that keep us small, that keep us from following our bliss or living out our purpose in the world.
The point is that the longer we wait, the larger and more indomitable those monsters can become. The trick to conquering monsters is to get them when they're small, before they can feed on our fears and grow in the dark recesses of our lives.
The sooner that we acknowledge them and deal with them, the easier we can dispense with them, and be the heroes we have the power to be.