...distracting me from what I mean to do. Once leaving my wallet in the fridge, or getting to my room and realising that I have forgotten what I came for.

Perhaps you might relate.

To me, this is the first and most easily-seen 'animal' involved in my 'condition'. Let's focus on the creature (not the condition). It is set off by external things. Anger (in its many forms) is usually involved. You know the sort of thing "If I had said that, then they would have said this, then I could have said the other, and I would have won (not lost/been humiliated/etc.)" It's amazing the elections my rabid dog has won in my head. Sadly this does not seem to obey the law of thinking positive things into existence.

The harpies I want to talk about – but a 600 word blog limit prevents me. Suffice it to say these are the critics in my head. Note they always say I am an idiot – not that I did an idiotic thing. Brené Brown covers the difference magnificently on her YouTube video "Listening to Shame".

My next companion I have always had. If Cerberus – the three headed dog guarding the gates of hell (to keep souls in or out - because he's always pictured facing outwards, eh?) – had one head, then that would be my beasty. Only he has black short curly fur punctuated with broad shoulders and dark eyes that pierce granite at a thousand feet. It sits there unmoving looking directly at me, and it's really good at looming. Sometimes it's looming in the distance. Sometimes it makes me jump as I realise I'm standing under its looming chin. It does not drool which is a good thing, but that level of self-possession makes him even more scary somehow.

My true failures in life make him loom bigger. Not work failures, or side swiping a car after an ill-advised manoeuvre to pass it (my rabid dog was definitely a factor in that, btw). I don't need to define or exemplify my true failures, do I?

Well maybe just one. I promised my music teacher - who really wanted me to do well, and I really wanted to do well for him – to practice every day for a week. I remembered that promise every day, realising I had again watched TV instead. His disappointment was so real, that it hurts me even now thinking about it nearly 60 years later. So guilt is usually involved. Self-criticism – the sort I cannot dodge. The failures I really own and really really don't want to think about.

I have other beasties... but those are my three main ones. What are your main ones?

Anger, Shame and Guilt are the 'Moodscope' cards they map to. What about you?

But how do I – as Lynzi Ann rightly suggested - accept and welcome them? Are they really spirit guides here to help?

Certainly my black dog seems to be the most authentic (if loomingly silent) spirit voice in my crowded head... the centre of gravity of my many-layered iceberg.

I suspect (but don't know) that it's only when I actually do start working towards my truest desires or vocation or soul-calling if you will, that my black dog with its curly hair will start cleaning his paws then eventually curl up in front of the fire, or maybe on the settee.

As I write this I imagine him resting his head on my lap as I stroke his fur in the evening quiet.

May I, may you and may we all - make peace with our beasts.

A Moodscope member.

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