I just met with a client who stated that she feels like she is stuck in quick sand with regards to her current relationship. She knows this relationship is abusive and disempowering, yet there is false hope that it will get better. When she considers the possibility of leaving, her head fills with a million reasons why she shouldn’t, ranging from “maybe he will change and love me again” to “I can’t afford to leave”. Yet when we challenged these reasons, they failed the truth test.
For many of us, being stuck is a state of mind. We find ourselves in situations that do not serve our higher purpose and yet we cannot see our way out. When we are asked why we do not make a change, we usually have a list of reasons and justifications that sink us deeper into our proverbial quicksand. We don’t realize that we are digging ourselves into the very hole we want to get out of. These reasons and justifications are perceptual constraints, beliefs that seem real and tether us to stay where we say we no longer want to be.
So how do we dig ourselves out of the hole we have sunk ourselves into? First we need to identify the perceptual constraints. For this client the list included: no one else will love me, I can’t make it on my own, my kids won’t forgive me, maybe it’s not that bad… These thoughts are like a broken record that plays over and over again in her head, feeding into her doubt and keeping her stuck. We identified these constraints and were able to challenge each one individually to see if they were real. Once the constraints were dealt with, we were able to get to the underlying fear that has kept her in an abusive relationship. The next step is to create manageable steps for her to move forward with her separation.
Our thoughts are very powerful and they shape the way we see the world and our current situations. The work is for us to be vigilant in our practice of identifying and disproving perceptual constraints as they arise. Yoga, mindfulness, meditation, and journaling support us in recognizing our thoughts so that we can restructure them to support our highest good. When we are able to do this, we will see that the quick sand was actually our thoughts and we are able to set ourselves free. When you change your thoughts, the world you live in will change, and empower you to change your life. And you will see that being stuck was just a state of mind.