In the 1991 movie, Sleeping With The Enemy, Laura Burney, played by Julia Roberts, has been married four years to husband Martin Burney, played by Patrick Bergin. Martin is abusive, controlling, and obsessive. He basically makes Laura’s life a living hell. On the outside, Laura and Martin appear to have the perfect marriage; seem to be the perfect couple. They live in a house overlooking the ocean, and have the best of everything. Or so it appears. In truth, Laura lives in constant fear of being demeaned, physically and verbally abused, and mercilessly threatened. When she decides she can’t take it anymore, she stages her own death. Free from the torture, she runs away and changes her identity. She gives everything up for a peaceful and safe life. There’s a lot more, but I’ll let you watch it for yourself.
Thinking about this movie, I started to reflect on the similarities between The Enemy in the movie, and we as Enemies in our own lives.
We ABUSE ourselves, our bodies. We eat the wrong foods, smoke, get little sleep, take unnecessary risks, etc. We CONTROL ourselves with thoughts. We allow them to plague us on a daily basis. “Don’t do that! It’s too hard,” “Don’t try it, you’ll fail,” “Don’t go to the gym, sleep in,” “Another Crispy Cream won’t hurt.” Or an event happens and you OBSESS about it. It’s always there. When night time comes, The Enemy doesn’t stop. In fact, it gets even louder. There’s nothing to distract you, so you can’t sleep. You just listen to your Enemy remind of you how inept you are, how ridiculous you looked in that outfit, how stupid you sounded in class, etc. It’s pure hell.
Are you sleeping with The Enemy? Are you abusing yourself? Obsessing on useless and negative events? STOP! Just like Laura Burney in the movie, you need to escape, to re-invent yourself. In a way, you need to stage your own death. The death of the You who’s allowing the incessant badgering. You need to give up the You that accepts all the abuse, and obsessive thinking. No one wants to hurt themselves, or be in pain. So it’s time now to come up with an Escape Plan for yourself, even though everything on the outside appears to be going great. Only You know what’s happening on the inside.
1) Realize that you are your own worst Enemy. You are with you always, putting yourself down and causing your confidence to plummet.
2) Surround yourself with people who see the best in you. They often have a clearer vision of you than you do.
3) Stay away from people who agree with your negative thoughts. They just fuel the fire.
4) Replace your negative thoughts with positive ones. For example, “I can’t do this; it’s too much!” Replace it with, “I can do it; I’ll take my time.”
5) Have a Bag of Comfort. In it, keep a book that inspires you, a playlist of music that brings you joy, a piece of chocolate, a gratitude journal, etc.
You don’t have to continue to sleep with the Enemy. You are more powerful than you think.
Free Yourself Today.