So I am late in watching The Dark Knight Rises. Brilliant film.
What came up for me by watching this film was the meaning of fear. What behaviours and thought processes develop because of these fears? How is our fears conquered?
There is a part of the film (anyone who hasn’t seen it and doesn’t want to hear anything about it stop reading now) where a child is trapped in an underground jail and was the only person able to escape by climbing out. Many after tried but failed.
Many individuals tried to escape by wrapping a rope around their waist as a means of providing safety in case they fall. Bruce Wayne attempted this technique until it was suggested to try it like the child – without the rope
Bruce, (like most of us if we were in the same situation) believed by knowing and acknowledging the fear – dying in the cave – would be enough motivation to find the strength to get out however the film demonstrated that It actually takes more than acceptance and acknowledgement.
That rope symbolised a safety net, a plan B. A safety net which holds us back and keeps us in that place of fear. When we have a rope (safety net) we do not have to really let go. The idea of having truly nothing left to lose is a powerful concept. This reminds me of the film Pursuit to Happiness starring Will Smith and his struggles/fears. When you are truly down and out with really nothing left to lose this feeling can be a positive factor to encourage that motivational drive.
How many of us is truly capable of fully letting go? How many of us is capable of taking that risk and not having a safety net? What could we actually achieve if we didn’t?
The world we live in is consumed with how much we can do in a space of 24 hours.
Spending time with family and loved ones, Fitting in time for recreational activities to feel as though working to live and not living to work. Working hard to get to “the top” (what ever that means).
What are we chasing? Money? Status? When we get to the “top” will we be satisfied? In the words of the infamous rapper Notorious B.I.G “more money more problems”
So what are we chasing…happiness? Inner fulfilment? What do these look like?
I believe that happiness is a state of mind. How many of say “if only…” “if only we had a car” “if only I can go on holiday once a year” “if only I made this decision rather than that decision”. The “if only” leads us to a place of self-doubt which robs us of seeing a situation for what it really is. A moment in time. A situation which can be appreciated as an experience whether good or bad.
Always feeling like something needs changing, I believe can be detrimental to our mental health so the question is how do we get out of this rat race.
It has come to my attention how important celebrating Valentine’s day can be for people.
As a child, the day meant it was a chance to let the object of your desire know your true feelings. As an adult it’s a day to highlight to your loved one how much you appreciate them.
So what happens if you are not in a relationship…thoughts can run through the mind of not feeling loved, nor lovable. This day can have undesirable affects on the psyche…
Who says that the “outsiders” have to show us that we are loved. We are already in the most important relationship…ourselves. Instead of waiting to be wined and dined by others, or sent chocolates and flowers from the “other”. Appreciate yourself first. Love you first, and have a day with you first.
Reassurance, Acceptance, A pat on the back, Positive re-enforcement –
These are things that are taught in parenting classes to ensure the child is raised in a well-rounded environment and to promote the emotional stability of the child. Children seek praises to enhance their self-esteem. Parents are taught not to always focus on the negative attributes/behaviours but also to focus on the positive behaviours. When a positive behaviour is enacted the parent is encouraged to reward the behaviour in order for the behaviour to continue. This is a well-known behavioural theory described as operant conditioning.
As time develops we are therefore conditioned to seek out these rewards for positive behaviours. From parent-child relationship, to teacher-child relationship, to adult – boss relationship. By seeking positive re-enforcement it can be inferred there is a process of validation within our psyche. By hearing “well done” “good job” for doing something well makes us feel warm inside. It lets us know we are on the right path.
Some may say there is nothing wrong with this. The ability to modify/manipulate behaviour can be of benefit. If praises, reassurance and positive re-enforcement helps raise self-esteem that is a good thing. For the record I do not disagree with this, however with reflection the CONSTANT NEED for reassurance, praise and positive re-enforcement from external sources can be very damaging to a person’s self-worth.
At which point as adults do we learn that we can validate ourselves? Define our own self-worth without the need of others? Have you realised the different types of relationships mentioned previously are all those where one is in perceived position of authority. Authority can be associated with power. When do we as individuals begin to take that “power” back.
This leads to the notion of self-love. The ability to have the confidence within ones self to know that we are good enough. The ability to assess the situation on our own merits and not someone else’s. The next question is how do we validate and gain the confidence? Positive affirmations with convictions can be a start. The same way positive praise from external environment can be soothing. Internal praise can work just as well.
The concept of believing in own capabilities can be a foreign phenomenon, however with time it can and does develop.
What does it it mean to express oneself? What does it mean to find ones voice? What does it mean to be understood or actually heard? Ever walked away from a conversation and thought afterwards thats not what I wanted to say?
There are so many different reasons as to why communicating what we really want to others can be so difficult; confidence, fear, trust to name a few. But I urge you to think what will happen if we actually gain the courage to stop and think what will happen if we do say what we actually mean, would we finally gain contentment within ourselves?
If we do not say what we mean are we cutting ourselves short of what we deserve? Often we are so absorbed with how others will perceive us we sometimes forget how we perceive ourselves. How do we communicate with ourselves? How often are we honest with ourselves? Sometimes we get caught up with what we tell others in order to survive in a politically correct world – whether it be in the work place or amongst peers – we sometimes forget to think and acknowledge our beliefs, desires and feelings.
First step of being able to communicate with others would be to start communicating with ourselves. Taking time to reflect on a situation. Taking time to acknowledge own feelings. If we start within then it can be penetrated outwards.