When I worked at Camp Redcloud in the heart of the rocky mountains near Lake City, Colorado. I had an amazing boss who knew that a successful year began with the staff being willing to communicate. Any break down in communication would without fail create tension, fighting, and chaos. Our theme every season was “in the absence of communication harry monsters grow.”
What is a harry monster and how does it grow? It grows from the lack of being willing to communicate what I need to someone. It grows when I do not communicate when I am overloaded, do not understand something that is expected of me, or choose to not say anything when I need to step up and let my thoughts an feelings be heard.
I have seen harry monsters in my relationship with Mark and the kids. I have seen harry monsters in places I have worked, both in myself and in others. I have also seen ugly harry monsters pop up in communities and in government. Harry monsters usually start out small, but because communication has not happened right away anger, bitterness, resentment set in and start picking away at my heart. I begin making a mountain out of a mole hill.
Harry monsters are created when I assume a look meant someone doesn’t like me, when a friend does call me back and I take it personal. Assuming is a harry monster creator for sure! I need to checking out all the facts. They are created when I become a freaker outer instead of being a positive problem solver.
I have taught my kids to ask themselves a set of questions when they feel the harry monster building up inside of themselves. Are they tired, hungry, need to be alone, scared, sad, or angry?
First, they need to ask themselves if they are tired. Did they not sleep well? When we are not rested it is hard to be at our best. We mentally and emotionally cannot handle life as well when our minds and bodies are half a sleep with our eyes open.
Second, they are to ask themselves if they are hungry. Half the time they are quick to react and a harry monster is created, because their bodies are asking for something. Hunger is something that once communicated can be fixed! Harry monster appeased! Hunger is something I have found causes me to have harry monsters as well. It’s amazing how much better I am able to handle the world when my stomach and brain are fed healthy meals and snacks!
Third, Maddie is easily over stimulated. She is an introvert and needs to spend some of her days alone to recharge her batteries. I want her to know it’s ok for her to release she has had enough and it is ok for her to take care of herself. If I can help her realize the moments she is overwhelmed, she will be able to take care of herself as an adult.
Fourth, helping the kids to learn how to recognize the emotions they are feeling will help them be able to properly handle what is going on inside of them. Anger is often triggered by fear or hurt, helping them to be brave and admit when they are scared. Communicating with Mark and I helps them through their emotions and we can help them digest life around them. Illuminating harry monsters from their hearts and minds.
Harry monsters are ugly, unfriendly creatures that ooze out of us, even when we try to stuff them. If we try to stuff them and tell ourselves to ignore them, the emotions will ooze out one way or the other. It will fling onto each other and in some cases will make us physically sick. They are definitely better faced head on and honestly.
It takes courage to look at a harry monster and be willing to communicate to someone, asking them if you have hurt them, offended them, or made a mistake. It is the only way to illuminate the harry monsters. When we confess with our lips and open up communication harry monsters disappear, bitterness and anger are not allowed to take root. Friendship become more authentic and real.
In the presence of communication harry monsters do not form!