"Over-thinking and Freedom from Your Prison" - 30/09/2014
Originally from: Overthinking and Freedom from your Prison by: therapyjourney.
The book [F**k It Therapy by: John C. Parkin] tells you how to identify the prisons that you are unwittingly incarcerated in and then to change them if you want. We are imprisoned by the constant and ultimately fruitless search for meaning when it isn’t there in those places where we seek. A sense of perspective on life is important. The stories we surround ourselves with imprison us. We have an idea about who we were, who we are now and who we’d like to become. The human state is to move from naivete to experience, from playfulness to seriousness, getting older, weaker and wearier all the while. These stories don’t reflect reality; life resists the stories we tell in order to try and fix everything.
While the original quote may not have been talking about how our imagination can take our minds over and trap us in a relentless train of thought, the message is just the same: we are imprisoned by the constant and ultimately fruitless search for meaning when it isn't there in those places where we seek.
When I come onto this site, I notice an influx of individuals afraid of a story they made up in their head. Sometimes it's a fear of death, sometimes it's a fear of getting a disease - with all of these fears, one thing is true; we've crafted a story in our heads that can reflect this fear. One will receive a fear of disease and think about:
- How will I get this disease?
- When will I get this disease?
- Why will I get this disease?
- Who will witness me get this disease?
- What will happen when I finally get this disease?
All of these are crucial in making a story ( famous authors use these devices to craft a guideline for their book) - that's exactly what we're doing. We're outlining our fears with stories, letting our imagination publish, constantly, the exposition of our dramatic tale. We continuously get trapped in plot-twists, tragedy, trauma, and the thought train that we let run rampant through our heads. We imprison ourselves because we know no other alternative. In our minds, the only way out is to think - which usually digs a deeper hole.
We need to start making alternatives; we need to start taking these thoughts lightly. You're not going to die if you stop thinking about your fears, you're not going to croak because you're not giving it attention - it's okay to walk away from your stories and, in fact, that's what we need to do. Telling ourselves that these fears and the stories behind them are just part of our imagination is the first step. Understand that these stories grab us because that's what we've designed them to do, our own imagination is running us there.
Take a step back, take a deep breath, and look at the story you've written.
A literary masterpiece!
A genius in the making!
Amazing style and syntax!
Great plot development!
...but still just a story in the end and stories aren't real. That fear you're obsessing over is irrational and that story you're making (although you put a lot of effort into it) is just a made-up fairy-tale. Tell yourself that your imagination is just a story-teller and, just because your story is able to floor you just as much as your favorite action movie, doesn't mean that it's potential of becoming reality is any higher than when you didn't think about it.