HELP ME, RHONDA
Portrait by Terrie Fraser
I find that life just overwhelms me and I have no time to think about how to change direction as I’m like a rat in a maze.
I seem to run around and around in circles and just can’t find time to think of a way out. From early in the morning to late at night, (I only sleep for five hours a night), I’m busy just existing.
I get up, grab breakfast, rush to catch the early train – if I’m not in the office by eight, people think I’m slacking. I grab a bite for lunch and eat at at my desk, back on the train at seven at night, flop in front of TV in my apartment that looks out on other apartments in a so trendy area, that was sold to me promoting the attraction of all of the other single people I would mix with. I haven’t made one friend since I’ve been here for over two years now.
Just writing this letter makes me cry – my life feels so stuck. I feel like I’m in jail. Please help me to break out.
Sadly, along with many other people, you are in jail. You are in a jail of your own making with the door open. And you are your own prison guard.
But of course the prison guard of you is not all you are. You are someone with longings, hope, vision and expectations of living a full life.
The challenge is, which part of you is going to be the boss of you. Everyone has a part of them that can be named the saboteur. We see it time and again with sports stars – about to swing the winning swing in the golf tournament, while next minute shaming themselves in their personal life, so bringing down the world disapproval instead of celebration of their great skill. We see it with highly achieving, leaders – inexplicably indulging in betrayal or fraud and then bringing themselves down.
It’s like the saboteur part of all of us says, “You can’t expect to enjoy your life! Who do you think you are to expect to not be miserable and defeated?”
It is our job to know about our own saboteur. It is our job to know that voice that says, “You can’t do it – you’re not clever, strong, beautiful enough. You think you’re too good for an enjoyable life. You need to work so hard you’ll get sick, because you’re not good enough.”
We can learn about our saboteur with help from support groups, therapists, close friends who are prepared to be real with us. But we HAVE to make the time and space to do this work. Because until we learn about our saboteur, they will rule. The thing we must do with our saboteur is know them and not act.
Your saboteur is having a fine old time.
You MUST work from dawn to dusk because if you don’t – what is it if you don’t? You CAN’T make the time to find friends in your apartment block. You OUGHTN’T to have fun, enjoy yourself and you definitely MUSN’T love your life.
Your saboteur is telling you to definitely NOT make time to take stock of your life and make some changes.
Your saboteur is telling you that you can’t transform your life. That you must stay in the jail you have created for yourself – with the door open.
But you and I know that you can leave your jail. You can leave today by taking a sickie to reflect – to reflect on your life and your death.
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