“When I use a word, (…) it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’
’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’
’The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.”
― Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass
Difficult art of making your own decisions
The moral of the above quote seems obvious: you decide about your life! But is it really that simple? Is it possible to transfer into our lives the “wisdom” that someone has sketched on a piece of paper?
According to the “paper will accept everything” principle, it would seem that this is just an empty phrase, beautiful but empty. Each of us after all, has experience in his life to which he was powerless. How can you say that you have control over your life in such situations, since “everything” slips away? And who rules who now? – you would like to shout at Mr. Humpty Dumpty!
And so we have moved from extreme to extreme. On one side we have the belief “I decide”, then long, long, nothing, until we move to the pole “I have no influence”. If so, maybe it’s worth filling the empty space between these extremes?
Fortunately, our body tends to balance itself, i.e. it tries to balance between two poles. Unfortunately, the pace of modern life makes it difficult to find time to collect thoughts, let alone reflect on your needs. It is very easy to fall into routine, schematic behavior. The body often watches over and alerts us that it’s time to stop. It sounds like banality … and yet if we do not listen to our needs from time to time or do not read them properly, we can face severe consequences. Most often it starts with ordinary fatigue, difficulty sleeping, waking up in the middle of the night or excessive sleepiness. There may also be emotions, e.g. frustration, sadness, anger, fear, anxiety. Experiencing such emotions is not pleasant, and we often feel depressed because of malaise, but these “bad emotions” are not our enemy. On the contrary, they force us to stop and sometimes make three steps back. Negative emotions are difficult to ignore. They are so unpleasant that as a result we have to do something about it. The moment you react is up to you. Humpty Dumpty sneers here. We can underestimate our condition, but then we give power over our lives to “fate”. We can also take responsibility for our lives and try to manage it. The second option is more difficult, but also more mature, and also gives more hope that we will be able to create it the way we want.
How to make the first step?
If you have difficulty in taking the first step to take care of your own psychological well-being, or you do not know where to start – let yourself be ignorant. After all, you don’t have to be an expert on everything. Sometimes we just don’t know what to do next … that’s all! Lewis Carroll put it perfectly well in several verses:
“Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don’t much care where.
The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.
Alice: …So long as I get somewhere.
The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you’re sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.”
Don’t know which way to go? – okay, give yourself time. However, it is important not to sweep your problems under the carpet. Start asking yourself: What do I feel, what do I think, what do I want, what do I not have, what helps me, what disturbs me? Catching a thought, ask yourself the question “Why”. Again, ask the same question again until you get to the point where you won’t find the answer to the next “why”. By conducting such a dialogue with yourself, you will certainly realize what you really have difficulty with, or what area of your life requires more interest and care.
However, if you decide that you can’t help yourself, get help from a specialist who will help you find balance. He will also help you to decide on the meaning of the words you say, like Mr. Humpty Dumpty. Thus, you will gain greater contact with yourself, but also with the world and your loved ones. In a word, you’ll get a new, better quality of life.
Author: Sylwia Michalczewska