05 Nov Bang, Whizz, Whoosh and Crackle: Sound Familiar?
Guy Fawkes Night Image Copyright: nd3000 / 123RF Stock Photo
Whether you see him as a terrorist or freedom-fighter, the occasion of Guy Fawkes Night is an apt time to reflect upon the slippery concept of freedom, and ask ourselves how free are we in our own lives? Certainly, it is hard to imagine being completely free from the external forces that shape our society, but how often do we hold ourselves back and in what spheres of life do we do this to ourselves?
Do you feel hemmed-in?
There are successful businesspeople who can command a board of executives without a second thought but are too scared to tell their partners that they love them. Other people can turn their homes into loving models of efficiency but are paralyzed by fear whenever they walk out of the front door.
People, generally, get stuck by:
- Fears – the fear of failure that means they may never try.
- Negative thoughts – the self-criticism that fills our hearts with doubt, and
‘False friends’ and habits – the regular trips to the biscuit tin that means they don’t shift the weight.
It can be difficult to recognise our own ‘stuckness’, but here are some clues to you discovering if you are stuck or not:
- Feeling confused
- Feeling angry all the time for no obvious reason
- Constant resentment
- Criticism and judgement of others
- Projection of your own issues onto others
- Rescuing people because you don’t want to face yourself
Sometimes, for example in domestic abuse situations, the restrictions on freedom are mainly external, although even here therapy can help both the abuser and the abused to change their toxic way of relating. Don’t let frustration build up into something explosive and potentially dangerous!
As Guy Fawkes Night should remind us, that situation rarely ends well for anyone involved!
You can make the shift but with all shift there comes risks and trade-offs, losses and gains. Usually we use therapists to navigate this difficult path and to highlight our own self-fulfilling prophecies. It takes courage and strength but the rewards can be fabulous! Get help – make 2015 new, energised and yours!