Tuesday, 27 September 2011
Doors of the mind
I was browsing the internet today, came across a relationships forum where a lonely and miserable young woman had posted a thread. Her husband has gradually isolated her from the world. She has no telephone, no contact with her friends and family, has been moved to a new neighborhood. She could wander the streets with her dog, but he is now telling her to wait for him to come home to walk the dog together, so even that freedom is being curtailed.
The thing was, he's away to work a lot. She has little access to money, true, but he isn't physically interring her: she is a prisoner of her own mind. To you or me it would be the easiest thing in the world to take a rucksack and the dog and leave. To her, it is the hardest.*
It got me thinking about how we become imprisoned by the expectations of others , by patterns of thinking, by ourselves. I started to wonder, what doors are there in my mind? I'm overweight, unfit, not the person I want to be in many ways. But how far are these things I am dissatisfied with in my own life, the ways I behave but don't like, how far could I open that door and just walk out? No-one forces me to eat badly, to move less than I should.
Could I lose weight, get fitter, improve my photography, just by choosing to, simply by opening a mental door? It's a powerful thought.
*internet forums can be poisonous things, notoriously agressive and spiteful places. But this lady has had nothing but encouragement, an offer of a place to stay, lists of women's shelters near her. Restores your faith in humanity a bit.