I was thinking about this today and I find it a really interesting question, why does most of what we reach for to help us get through when we’re young turn out to be unhealthy and harmful?
Why do we reach for support and comfort from unhealthy and ultimately misery inducing tools when we could just as easily turn to something healthy and wholesome?
Why smoking? Why not running or fitness or team sports?
Why eating too much, eating crap? Why not joining a choir or a writer’s group or amateur dramatics?
Why gambling? Why not mountain climbing or kayaking or dirt bike racing?
Why pornography? Why not bird watching, or painting or nature walks?
Why do we choose unhealthy, damaging tools to give us comfort, support to make us feel less alone, to hide us, to numb us when there are so many healthy, creative, inspiring options that would help us so much more?
What I’ve found in both my personal struggle with addiction, depression and anxiety and in speaking to hundreds of people about their life choices is that we simply didn’t know we could choose better, we didn’t know we had the option to choose. How could we be open to life and all its possibilities when we had no awareness of any other possibility than the one we were living.
Most people who choose damaging ways to numb life’s hurt and pain and the sheer terror of being misunderstood and alone only know of damaging ways to live and be in the world.
It’s all we learned from the adults in our lives, it’s all we saw modelled in the world we exist in.
There was no-one in my world, as a child, choosing exercise as a way to deal with anxiety.
No-one who used creativity and self expression as a way to exorcise the demons of depression.
No-one who sang as a means to bring joy and light into their heart, unless a favourite song came on the radio and some temporary relief was found in singing along.
But that relief was considered an aberration from the norm, a chance happening, a temporary reprieve, no-one considered how that could be structured to create a daily expression of joy and life and love. There was no-one who thought about introducing such strategies into everyday life to make it better.
Simply put, we choose the things we do because it’s all we’ve ever seen others do.
We don’t know there are other options.
We don’t know we can choose to find healthy ways to get an amazing high, to create positive self image from expressing the darkness within, to channel our anger and rage into striving towards a goal, to daily face our fears and find ways to go around it, over it, under it.
We had no way to process our emotions because we never saw it done in anything other than aggression, victimisation, hurting others or self with harmful actions.
Aggression, rage, frustration and disappointment only ever processed as physical and verbal assault.
Depression and anxiety self medicated with food, alcohol, drugs, (prescription and proscribed)
Despair and fear from money worries were shoved aside with the fleeting thrills of gambling, pornography, sex, crime.
And we keep doing what we were taught because we don’t know there’s other options, different choices to make. We’re so bogged down in our family and neighbourhood and cultural paradigms we don’t see there’s a whole other way we can show up and live in this world, in our own world.
We make the world we live in, we can unmake it and we can remake it.
The things we learned as children become beliefs, this is the way it is, this is the way we are, our personalities set in stone. A prison of our own design.
And we keep repeating the thoughts and behaviours and they get stronger and stronger, become habits, we do them without conscious awareness, and it’s only when we see ourselves through the eyes of someone new that we might catch a glimpse of how limited our lives have become.
When we see other people living differently, making those choices we think aren’t open to us, opportunities and possibilities we don’t dream of, happening for them because they simply allow themselves the freedom to let life happen for them in all its amazing, unlimitless ways.
We always knew something else was available, we always felt it, a note of discord, discontent that we ignored.
Deep inside a voice that says – not this – no more. Stop.
And we still ignore it because we think we can’t be different, we don’t know how to be different. What would that even be like? Who would we be?
Could we show up, not as this bundle of learned behaviours, but as our own unique self? As the truth of ourselves?
And we keep going, trying to stop doing the thing but always falling back into it because we still think, still believe, still have the identity of this being who we are.
Let me tell you the truth now: you are not your behaviour.
You are not what you do.
You are not what you say.
You are not even what you believe.
You are much more, much deeper, much more immense a being than that. That’s all surface level bullshit. And if you asked yourself now if all those judgements and beliefs and action were really you, you’d get a resounding No from deep inside of yourself.
By the time people come to see me for help with easing their symptoms, stopping their addictions, getting life on track, those old thought paradigms are deeply ingrained and added on top is a colossal load of guilt and self doubt.
People can’t even imagine who they would be if they didn’t do/think/believe they way they do any more.
They just know they need it to stop. They want to feel better about themselves and life and achieve something, live a life that matters.
And they get scared. Scared of change. Scared of the possibility of the person they could become. Scared of having their excuse for not doing better taken away.
And if they are meant to be this incredible version of themselves they know is inside of them, then who the fuck are they right now?
They are the mask wearer, the pretender, the imposter.
Who are you without all that stuff you carry around, that false identity of beliefs, judgements, habits?
You are the person you were always meant to be. The person you still are at your core. Let that version of you come out.
HypnoTherapyCoaching isn’t about transforming you into something else.
Its about allowing you to be you as you always were/are and to see the past as a journey to learn what you don’t want to be/do/think anymore.
No judgement of that journey and that identity.
Instead compassion for the child and the adult for all the wrong thinking, for not knowing you could do anything other than be that way.
Forgiveness for the actions you took because you didn’t know you had other choices open to you.
Give yourself options now.
Open yourself to all the possibilities life has to offer you.
Free your mind, the rest will follow.
HypnoTherapyCoaching will set you free. Check out the Change for Life programme today.
Don’t waste any more time not knowing your true self and what you’re capable of. Ditch the impostor and learn who you really are now.
Did you find this useful? Sign up for more information, uplifting guidance, hypnotic audios and whatever else I can possibly share with you at www.cynthiacurry.uk