The elephant in the room. That saying always leaves me with a humorous image in my head of a shy cartoon elephant trying unsuccessfully to hide its enormous grey body behind the drapes, while the human dinner party guests awkwardly avoid eye contact with each other.
While the image might be funny, the feeling of an elephant in the room is not.
Everyone has some elephant in some room of the house. Everyone has some issue that they skirt around and avoid looking directly at. Everyone has some conversation that they avoid, some situation they need to address, some circumstance that they need to clean up. Whatever your elephant is and wherever your elephant is lurking, it’s important to know that it causes all kinds of issues:
What makes the elephant such a big deal? Why can’t we talk about it? Fear and shame.
We are afraid that others won’t like us, won’t approve of us. We are afraid that we’ll lose support from others. We are afraid that we’ll have to have difficult conversations. We are afraid of challenge and discomfort. We don’t feel secure enough in ourselves to handle others’ disapproval. We are afraid that if we take a stand, there’ll be no one there to stand with us.
I’m not here to tell you that these fears aren’t true. It would be a lie if I said that if you address the elephant in the room, everything will be good, smooth, and easy. It would be a lie to say that if you were to address the elephant in the room, you’ll only experience support and teamwork and agreement.
If/when you address the elephant in the room, I can promise that sometimes, you’re going to lose some support. I promise that some people will disagree with you. I assure you that it’s not always going to be easy; there will be conflict and disagreement.
So, you might be wondering, “Why the heck would I want to address the elephant in the room? He’s just fine over there, hiding in the drapes!”
Because if you don’t, there will always be a part of you not fully yourself. And if you’re not fully yourself, then you cannot fully connect.
In other words, by leaving the elephant in the room, you sacrifice connection for comfort.
You take what you want most in the world - to be known, heard, understood, fully loved - and you sacrifice it on the alter of comfort.
Worse, by denying yourself from showing up to others, you take away from others their ability to fully love you, any support you might offer them, and any courage and connection they might gain from you.
This is us, The Stress Experts, addressing the elephant in the room. We know that we are going to cause discomfort in ourselves and in others. We know that we are going to lose support. We know that it’s not going to be easy.
But we also know that if we don’t address the elephant, we aren’t being true to ourselves. If we live in the fear that you won’t like us, then we aren’t fully ourselves, and that shame - that self-hiding - will eat us up. If we don’t come out and say it, we will sacrifice connection on the alter of comfort. Not only will we suffer for it, but you will too. Because if we don’t say this, then how can we help those who are feeling the same?
So, here it is. Deep breath.
There is a huge deception that is unfolding in front of our very noses - on our very noses, if you’ll allow the pun. Tyranny is raising its head, but disguised as “health” and “for your safety” the disguise is fooling literally billions of people.
But we aren’t being fooled. And while we have compassion for those who believe the lie, who feel like the world is on the right track going “back to normal”, and who believe that government does indeed have their best interests at heart, it’s hard to watch and do nothing to help.
“It’s hard” is an understatement. We feel bullied, attacked, criminalized, and discriminated against. Sometimes we’re scared. Sometimes we’re overwhelmed. Sometimes we even feel hopeless. And we know we’re not alone. Far from it.
It’s hard to stand up when others are laying down. It’s hard to speak when others wear muzzles and demand you to do the same. It’s hard to be calm and confident when others look to segregate and take you down. It’s hard to stand up for what you believe in when it will cost you your friends, family, job, and freedoms. It’s hard to speak the truth when others so adamantly defend the lie. It’s hard.
But if those of us who know the truth fail to share it, then we are even worse than those who believe the lie.
That’s why we want to help. We want to support you and encourage you as you hold onto the truth. We want to share tools and insights that can help us all share the truth more clearly and calmly.
If this message feels familiar, if you have a similar elephant in the room, if you’re struggling with the stress of being different than everyone around you, then you’re in the right place.
Here’s what’s going to happen. We’ll continue to write our usual blogs. They’ll appeal to everyone, black or white, rich or poor, vaccinated or unvaccinated. But we’re also going to cater to a subgroup of our audience. We’ll create and share content that is relevant to those of you who are bearers of the truth. You know who you are. Sign up here to receive this content as well as the usual blogs.
Here’s to conquering stress.
The Stress Experts
Sign up to receive inspiration, skills, tools, and tough love right in your inbox each week. Don't worry, we won't share your email address and we're not going to fill up your inbox with junk.
Practical Strategies to Deal with Daily Stressors
Sign up to receive inspiration, skills, tools, and tough love right in your inbox each week. Don't worry, we don't share your email address and we're not going to fill up your inbox with junk.