This evening I tucked myself into my favorite corner by the window, a few candles lit, sitting cross legged on my bed. I was studiously listening to the Bliss and Grit podcast with my notebook opened in front of me so that I could write down the little tidbits of gold that come out of these two therapists having a conversation.
This podcast episode, called ‘When the Rules Dont Apply’, touched on the rules we often set for ourselves, be it consciously or unconsciously about how we “should” be living. These restrictions that were once for our safety that now are keeping us living small.
These are ways that we project the past onto the future. We don’t live in the now and we play out old scenarios with new people. This is a way of keeping ourselves safe since we sense some predictability with it, so we act as if what has happened in the past is happening now.
Not only do we project old scenarios or experiences onto others, we also try to tell the future of what will happen next if we do or don’t do something. Fantasizing about the future, whether that be positive or negative ideas, can keep us from moving at all.
What I’m getting at here is, there is no perfect way to live. No one has it all figured out. You can police yourself until the cows come home, but the rules have been maintained by you. It’s up to you to choose how you want to live. It is up to you to choose to rebuild the foundation, to renovate the belief system.
Both the beauty and the beast is that you get to be the one to decide. As with many things in life, this can carry a duality- conflicting emotions. But when we keep ourselves in helplessness and the victim role, sure we keep ourselves safe in old familial ways, but we also keep ourselves stuck.
So I leave you with something a good friend of mine said to me when I was stuck making a decision. She said “What is the sign you are waiting for? What are you wanting to have happen in order for you to be able to decide?”
This catapulted me back into my own responsibility, and an awareness that maybe what I am hoping to happen likely isn’t going to happen. This is an opportunity. A reframe. A way out of fantasy.
It’s up to you to choose.
This blog and website is not a replacement for personal therapy or therapeutic intervention. Please see a therapist or mental health practitioner for personalized therapy.