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Decorate Your Elephant

"There's the door."

Thus began one of the most humiliating break-up stories of my college career.

This directive, with arm extended and finger pointing at said door, was courtesy of my then boyfriend. I had just shared some feelings and frustrations with him and he didn't care to respond.

I was crushed.

Now if I were to track this guy down, I'm guessing he wouldn't even remember this scene, or if he did, it would be a minor blip on his radar of college memories. For me, it was real, it happened, and it hurt.

There, I just named the elephant in the room.

This one is the 'there's-the-door elephant'. With time, I accepted this elephant and then through humor and healing decorated it so I could parade it around shame-free. It became a long-running joke in my circle of friends and I came to understand this break-up was a liberation. The more I decorated it with wisdom and color and love and acceptance, the more integrated it became in my unfolding story of beauty and self-worth.

My point is, not everyone is capable of seeing, naming, and/or decorating the elephants of your past. Even if they were in the exact room in the exact moment they occurred. Personality traits, history, different coping mechanisms all play into each and every one of our elephant-recognition abilities.

I used to believe my elephants weren't valid if no one else agreed they existed.


If something happened and it deeply affected you, then it is very true and very real. So please, name every single last one of those elephants in your room.

Then decorate the hell out of them.

Inward & Onward

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2 則留言


Love this! Need to line up my elephants for that parade, for if it weren’t for my elephants, I wouldn’t be where I am today 💗

Diana DeVaul

I love the idea of a parade! Maybe everything that happened to us wasn’t so beautiful but we can celebrate the lessons learned.

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