When Termites Erode Your Being

by Dian Reid-Jancic· Follow Dian on

Photo Credit: ridabugalabama.com

The termite inspector showed up, and I knew what he would tell me: “Subterranean termites are eating away at your house, ma’am.” Harsh to hear words that confirm what I already know. Sometimes I feel the same way when I talk to my coach. 

Termites eat away below the surface. They eat away the structure in an attempt to feed themselves, uncaring of the damage they do, unthinking of the effects that weakened floor joists and hardwood floors will have on the house as a whole. Myopic in their thoughts and actions. I can relate.

This is how I treat myself at times. Little things I say to myself eat away at my infrastructure, the core of my being. That’s never going to work. You’ll look like a fool trying to get into that pose.  You’ll get tired before you get a good workout on that bike. You’ll slow everyone down with your questions. You can’t just talk to her, she’s important! People will laugh at you. You’re crazy if you think … The thoughts go on and on.

Even when I know the benefits of positive self-talk, I still allow tiny bits of negativity to crack their way in. It’s just a little sarcasm, I tell myself. It’s just a tiny little thought. Just one thought, in comparison to all the positive thoughts. Sure it is.

It’s never just one thought. Just like there’s never just one termite. One termite might not be a big deal. Even two or ten might not be able to do much damage. The thing is, just like termites, thoughts always invite their friends. Negative thoughts have negative friends, just like positive thoughts have positive friends. But when the negative thoughts keep inviting over their negative friends, and I chalk it up to sarcasm, I end up with a mind full of negativity. Positive thoughts have stopped inviting their friends over, and have run for cover to the basement in my heart, my soul, unwilling to come out for fear of being shot down again.

Termites start out in one area and work their way through until nothing’s left. Unless I know they’re there, there’s no stopping them. Awareness. Awareness is the key, I think. But just knowing they’re there doesn’t get rid of them. Mindfulness. Mindfulness is the key. But just understanding how the termites affect my being doesn’t get rid of them either. Action. Action is the key. Inspired Action. Maybe…

Sometimes I get in a place where I don’t mind if things crumble a little bit. I get tired of being strong and welcome the weaknesses to take over for a bit while I rest on the couch. And just when I think I can’t move, I feel the core of my being rise up and take a stand. No, Dian. Termites are not taking this house down today. Not today, not any day. And then there’s movement. Ah. Movement. Movement is the key.

There’s movement in picking up the phone to call the termite guy. There’s movement in talking to the condo association to let them know we have a situation. There’s movement signing the work-order. There’s movement in calling my coach. There’s movement in recognition. There’s movement in decision. There’s movement in the core of my being, which refuses to lie down quietly while my life passes me by. There’s movement in evicting the unwanted thoughts and sending the termites on their way. There’s movement in sending out an e-vite to all my positive thoughts for a summer BBQ.

The summer BBQ requires interaction with my positive thoughts, rather than just reading them on a page mindlessly. A summer BBQ has me engaging with my thoughts, making conscious choices about what to do with them and where to move from this space I’m in. Rather than hope the termites go away, I take all that awareness and mindfulness and inspired action and actually do something about it. Yes, a summer BBQ with my positive thoughts are in order.

Termites don’t eat BBQ. But I do.

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