The trouble with ghosts is that they don’t even speak, they don’t even whisper. They motion us forward, they move through us, they flutter between us, and too often in response, so do we.

We listen to them like little addictions, the ghosts that can’t even talk. You cannot succeed, you will not be loved, they will not care, it isn’t enough, you will never change.

We can’t stop feeling lost, being lost, losing peace, losing sleep. But we can’t seem to stop listening either.

There is too much resting in the unknown, I think. And whether we want to acknowledge it or not, we’re hearing what we can’t see and following what we don’t fully understand.

I know a woman whose heart is made of gold. It was made purely of gold and mercy, of God, and a little bit of wilderness. She teaches people first how to dance, second how to pray, third how to change a tire, and fourth how to protect your heart. Except, she learned what she wasn’t supposed to as a child too.

As a woman she would learn deeper and harder all the things God never intended her to learn. And in many ways, so would I. I think if you were honest, your journey into adulthood has required you to unlearn from the ghosts your mind befriended too.

I’ve often wondered with friends and on my own:

Will we ever truly unlearn mistrust? Will we ever see beyond the bad guys? Are we destined to just get mean? Will we ever accomplish anything worth while? Even worse… are we eternally damaged? And here’s what I learned about our little ghosts that lead like addictive little habits.

Ghosts with Power: We aren’t honest or brave enough with ourselves about the things we cannot see. I believe we are spiritual as human beings. I believe in God which means I also believe the existence of an opposite power, an enemy.

And here is where our internal struggle lives. As much as we acknowledge the power God has to influence, change and redeem our lives, we really do need to acknowledge that Satan has also been given power on this earth. Does it compare to the power of God? No, of course not. But, because we’ve been given free will, we get to choose who has power in our life.

When we take seriously the threats of the enemy of our life, Satan, we can understand the power of listening intentionally in a spiritual sense.

God and Goodness: Way too often, we look at our parents, our siblings, our circumstances, friends and social media so we can blame them for where we’re at. I mean, we won’t admit we’re blaming, but we are since the choice to follow any one person or thing is our choice alone. While it’s true someone may have led you to believe something, it is also true you never had to keep believing them. A lot of how we grow up sits there in our psyche. When it is destructive, Satan loves it.

Here’s what I want to remind you of first though- When God created everything, he intended it all for good. Lots of times, as humans we let Satan use what was intended for good to be used for evil. Don’t forget though, God intended it for good, and has the power to redeem anything for good.

Suffocating the Unseen: If we acknowledge that Satan is a real deal, and understand the true goodness of God and His plans for your life, than we can go ahead and suffocate those ghosts. But, how do you suffocate what you cannot see? Well, it takes slowness, patience, and strength. All of which is readily available to you through Christ.

God is always reminding me of my friend who learned first how to dance and last how to change her tires, and He says of her to me: “Do you see her innocence in loving? Her mercy is vast, her forgiveness goes even further.” I know what God getting at. He’s reminding me that what He intended from the start is still beautiful, just misused. She is merciful, pure in love, and forgiving. She is gifted. And yes, the enemy has used those things against her where she allowed, but God intended them for good.

We’re shaped by the things that move us, not the things that talk to us. And ghosts have that power. They may not talk, may not even cast a whisper, but they motion us forward and I wonder, which way will we go?