Beating the Boggart
For those of you who are not Harry Potter fans the Boggart is a shape shifter that takes on the form of your worst fears. It leapt out of a wardrobe and assumed different shapes. For Neville it was Professor Snape and for Professor Lupin a full moon.
The spell to stop the Boggart was Ridickolos, on using the spell Professor Snape was dressed in Neville’s grandmother’s clothes and Lupin’s moon became a balloon. Laughter ensued and broke the Boggarts power.
How can we apply this to our lives? I have been thinking about those persistent voices in our heads that can be less than helpful.
The carping criticism whispering that you are not good enough/don’t work hard enough/don’t deserve happiness/money etc. The Imposter Syndrome voice who do you think you are setting yourself up as an authority? The victim poor me voice, everyone has a better break than I do, it’s not fair……
Ring any bells?
The first thing is to see whose voice that is, you may have internalised a parent or influential school teacher, boss, colleague or sibling. There may not be a person attached to it, you have produced all by yourself! So how to tackle it?
If the voice is attached to a person how can you make them ridiculous? Could it be dressing them up in silly clothes, imagining them with no clothes can be pretty effective as well. Could you change their voice for example if the person is big and imposing give them a baby voice or small squeaky one. Another good strategy is tuning them out, either imagine changing to another radio station or just turn the volume down; it all helps.
Do you have a positive voice in your head? Someone who always gave you good advice and care; see what they have to say.
The boggart is persistent and will keep coming back, especially when you are overtired or stressed, hungry or ill. The way to break it is to keep using the spell and remember ridiculous/ridikolos; because that it what is needed. The more often you can see the person/voice in a ridiculous light the less often it will come back to bother you.
If the voice is someone from when you were young the influence has been there a while and will take a bit of shifting but it can be done. You will start to see what is is saying is stupid and doesn’t apply to you and also never did apply to you.
Humour is important here, if you can start to laugh at these voices you really have broken their influence and you can move forward freely and confidently and lock that boggart back into its wardrobe.
Take very good care and stay well,