Imagine, if you will, trying to leave a room but not being able to get a step or 2 beyond the threshold and if you use all your strength you can keep your footing and look around, perhaps you can see the garden outside with a gate at the far end leading to a wide open field and the horizon beyond and just as the thought ‘oooh, what’s out there?’ forms in your mind you are cataputed back into the room because your jumper is caught on door handle. Oh the confusion and frustration that would build in you until you were at breaking point. And maybe the room you are in is fine, maybe you find many things in there to make you happy, and maybe people say to you ‘there’s nothing wrong with your room or you’ and maybe you would agree BUT it doesn’t take away the yearning to know what is beyond that door and that inner knowledge that out there is where you belong. That feeling that you are a potted plant leaning toward the light.
I have known for most of my life that I am happiest when I am helping – or singing but I do one better than the other. Earliest memories of primary school are of walking up and down the playground with my arm around my best friend whilst he broke his heart sobbing because we were no longer at playschool and because he missed his Mum. A tall, wilful, 4 year old, shushing and soothing and trying her hardest to eleviate his distress like she had been doing this for years. But childhood and teenage years, with the amount of information assimilation and cognitive growth that goes on, can muddy the water of the brain and bury our innerselves in layers of confusion, hurt, joy, achievement, other peoples expectations, other peoples fears and life events that no one expected. Skip forward a couple of decades and there I was at university trying to study psychology but failing as my subconcsious took hold and just like that I was stuck in a room with my jumper unknowingly caught on a door handle.
Now my childhood was in no means deprived. I was loved, sheltered, cared for and healthy but our subconcious minds don’t fixate on the good, just what it percieves could kill us and if, through years of mini moments of stress, our subcouncious mind is more in control than our concious mind, then those layers of negativity become our predominant filter of our present and the filter through which we predict our future. And we can train our minds to look at the present good and imagine a lovely future, and perhaps we can even go to the door and try again and again, but if our subconcious has a memory that it is pinning our survival on (or our jumper is stuck) then sooner or later you are going to end up back where you started, struggling against the past that binds you. There are two ways out, rip a hole through the jumper or take a moment, take a breath and look around to see what’s stopping you.
My mentor and I worked on my limiting beliefs, cleared my negative emotions and reframed the possibilities of my future… and it was liberating. Not only have I unhooked my jumper but I have taken the jumper off entirely. I am now standing at the end of the garden looking out of the gate shouting
“Ok world, what’s next?!”
Cat on a Gate, by Marja Brown available here.