Sometimes I hear a sentence and it immediately gets stuck in my head. Usually it’s because the words are so beautifully put together and/or the sentence has a meaning that deeply resonates with me. Today (in a podcast about my favorite TV-series of all things) I heard a sentence that resonated inside me:
Do not get hypnotized with the complexity of the situation.
I feel that this is exactly what we human beings so often and easily get stuck in: we have a situation in our lives that we want to change, for example we feel stuck in a job that doesn’t feel right anymore. But we perceive changing jobs as such a complex situation that instead we end up doing nothing. And so we drag ourselves to the same job, day after day, week after week, year after year. Or a marriage, same thing. What if you want to end your marriage? That decision affects almost all aspects of one’s (and other people’s) life: the very definition of complex! And how about certain political situations? Same thing I believe.
It’s exactly as the sentence above: like we get hypnotized by how complex it is to change our situation, whatever it may be. And of course, while being in a hypnotized state we cannot actively do anything, so we keep on doing the same thing over and over again. The result? I believe quite often we end up feeling increasingly miserable and sorry for ourselves. Perhaps our bodies start to show symptoms. And slowly, a part of us becomes like a hypnotized zombie. Going through the motions. Not really here anymore. Our eyes are open but we are not awake.
Is this something you recognize? I certainly do. My inner zombie and I are very well acquainted with each other. I connect it to a particular feeling in my body; it feels like (I know this sounds strange) a part of me has flown-away out of my head. I can’t really feel my legs, or my feet on the ground anymore. I feel helpless, hopeless and completely stuck. But also, to confess: a part of me quite likes my inner zombie. Because when I’m in my zombie-state of being, I feel that I am a victim of the situation I’m in. And a victim is someone to feel sorry for, right? Which can get me a free-pass to behave however I want in certain situations, regardless of how this may affect other people. Because:
There was a time in my life when I was The Queen of Poor Me. If it is an art I would have perfected it. If there is a crown, mine would have been gigantic. I honestly believed that I was stuck in a lot of complex situations in my life. A horrible boss at work. Poor me. A bad marriage. Poor me. Living in a foreign country among people who don’t understand me. Poor me. And so on.
How fun on a scale of 1-10 was I to live with? You’d have to ask my husband but I’m sure the number wasn’t particularly high. And of course, living in this state inside myself wasn’t much fun either even though I tried my best to cover it up for myself and other people. I found lots of tools to help me in pretending all was good and that I was a well-functioning human being. Alcohol, for example, was a great tool in this game of pretending.
Finally I decided that this was not how I wanted to live. And so I made a decision to get professional help to work with myself and confront my inner zombie. What happened then? Well, first came a lot of tears. Think: swimming pool-size. It frightened me because I thought it’d drown in it (but obviously I didn’t). Then came a lot of anger. Think: apocalyptic proportions. If the cushions I was given to vent my anger upon would have been real people, I would have massacred a whole nation. But slowly, slowly small glimpses of insight emerged from within. And one day I found myself writing in BIG LETTERS in my journal:
NO MORE POOR ME!
There were about a hundred exclamation marks behind this sentence; that’s how tired I was of living in this hypnotized state of victimhood.
Up to today, I remain very aware of not entering into the hypnotized zombie-state of the victim inside myself. Yes, my life remains complex in certain areas. As do all our lives, right? I refuse to use the complexity of situations as an excuse to become zombie-hypnotized and walk around in my victimhood. Instead I choose to practice awareness. Because that’s the major key in all of this, I believe: being aware of what’s really going on inside myself and facing whatever that is head-on, with or without professional help. So:
No more Queen. It’s a tiresome life that isn’t authentic and real.
That’s my truth!
Photo: Ashton Mullins – unsplash.com
-Do you feel stressed, tired, burned out, numb, have difficulty to focus or feel joy?
-Is the voice of your mind running your life?
-Do your past experiences affect your daily life?
-Do you wonder if there is more to life than sleep-work-entertainment-sleep?
As of august 2019 I offer holistic counseling sessions in Swedish, English and Dutch, in person and via Skype. A holistic counseling session with me gives you space to take a break from this hectic world and be present with what is.
Interested? Read more at:
poolside.se (in Swedish)
poolside.se/en (in English)
poolside.se/nl (in Dutch)