21 Aug 2014

I wrote a few weeks back now about my positive experience with a therapist, and I wanted to share something we discussed within our sessions: visualising. I've always found this difficult as my butterfly brain tends to flit from one thing to the next without being able to remain settled on anything (sound familiar to anyone?!) and whilst I have a vivid imagination, my focus and concentration on any one image is minimal. I'm working on this (see future blogs!) but there was one thing that really stuck with me.

He described a person walking along the road; a tired, dejected person who seems to have the weight of the world on their shoulders; almost like a heavy backpack or as I like to think of it, a long stick with a bundle of "stuff" on the end, very reminiscent of Dick Whittington when he walked to London actually...I digress...

Our person is someone struggling to put one foot in front of the other; someone dragging themselves along; moving slowly and obviously in pain from the burden they're carrying. Not just their own troubles, but picking up everyone else's along the way, until they become so accustomed to feeling like this, that for them it seems normal, and an alternative doesn't cross their mind. I'm sure we can all recognise this person...

My therapist explained to me that this person eventually comes to a crossroads. Here, they have a decision to make. Turn left or carry on, taking the troubles with them. Eventually, the weight becomes so heavy that they have to stop altogether; they can't carry on. Eventually, after some time, that path will bring them back to where they are now, and they'll have to make their choice again.

Or, they can turn right. They can put the burden down, and walk away from it. Imagine that...

Now I know things aren't that simple. If we could all put down our problems and simply walk away, just like that, life would be full of happier people, and higher Moodscope scores. But it did make me think. I can put the burden down. I can walk away from it. I can take a step in the other direction. I can make a choice (there is always a choice). The path to the right may be a long one, with hills and pot holes but I can still make it easier on myself and choose to travel it without any unnecessary baggage.

An analogy yes, but I feel it's a powerful one. Every day now I check in with myself and visualise myself in the scene I described. Where am I? Have I put that burden down? Am I walking away from it? Some days I can see myself slipping back closer to that burden, and I realise I have to take action before I end up back at the crossroads picking it up again and setting off in the wrong direction.

So where are you today? Which path are you on? Can you put that burden down?


A Moodscope member.

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