Sarah and the Monster
(the significance of inner pictures and imagination)
They say, and there is a lot of written material on the subject as well, that stories, folktales train the imagination and help inner images evolve in children (indeed, in anyone) – and the ability to create inner images is a fundamental, essential human skill for many reasons – for example, if we want to tackle any problems cropping up in our life, we must first be able to imagine a solution, or several versions of solutions in ourselves, without that we will not be able to find and carry out any real solution. But sometimes the solution is right there – it is enough to imagine something or think of it in a different way…
On my first evening at home – after I came back from a 1 week long storytelling meeting in France – my daughter (9 year old, Sarah) was very hyper, not wanting to go to bed and doing her best to avoid that moment… She was „menace”, she was throwing things at us and laughing. I was trying to do my best to calm her down, then tried my more strict side, but nothing worked… Then, at a certain moment, I could get in touch with my better self, and started to be empathic, getting into touch with the truth of a sentence (which is there all the time in the rational, fact-knowing part of my brain and in my heart too) i.e.: „if she behaves like that, there must be some problem behind it. She is bothered by something she cannot formulate.” So, I said to myself, OK Maja, calm down, let’s try to understand what is going on. (Sarah was already in bed, but the light was still on). Then I asked her.
– Sára, is everything OK with you? Why are you behaving like this? How do you feel? Is there anything bothering you?
– Oh, I feel very good…
– Is this why you are throwing things at us and trying to do things we ask you not to do?
– Yes. It is because I feel good.
– Are you afraid of something?
– Yes. I am. I am afraid of going to bed.
– What are you afraid of?
– I am afraid that if we go to bed and sleep, I’ll die. I’m afraid that an enormous monster will come and eat me up. …
(then I asked her):
– And what is the worst thing about this?
– That I’ll get stuck in the dark.
– And what is the worst thing about that?
– That you and dad will not be with me anymore…
(Then we did some meditation about letting her fears and negative belief systems go out of her system) – then I switched off the light and was staying next to her, She said:
– Oh, Mother, I can see the monster again…
– What is like? How does this monster look?
– It is very huge, it is blue, and has a piercing in his nose. (Here I asked if she saw something like this on TV, and she said no.). I started to think, what on earth should I do? Here we are in the dark, with the monster again… and then I asked:
– What is this monster afraid of? How can it be conquered? – then she said:
– It is afraid of fire. It is allergic to it. – so I suggested her that we both imagine that we take a torch with fire (a flare) in our hands… so we raised our torches and we chased away the monster – it ran away…
Sarah has never mentioned the monster again since then…