Avengers Endgame – slight spoiler alert!
Thor finishes the film promising to stop being the person everybody else expects him to be and instead to ‘just be himself’ from now on!
Believe it or not this is a very common theme I engage all my clients in too, because there is a very real significance to this when it comes to infertility.
If we can agree on a few hard principles up front it will be easier to make my point:
We create our own futures! Agreed?
I’m not saying we have full control over our future lives, we don’t, but we can bring a lot of influence to bear on them if we choose to do so. (Most don’t do this consciously by the way!)
We create our own futures is by the decisions we make every day! Agreed?
We decide to solve problems in our lives, or we decide not to bother. We decide to get help for something or we decide to just fumble with it ourselves even though we don’t understand it. We decide to apologise for a wrong we did, or we decide to shy away from doing that. We decide to eat food that is good for us and gives up vitality, or we decide to eat whatever the hell we want. All-in-all you could boil it down to – we decide to make the best use of our limited time here – or we decide not to. It’s important to realise that most of the decisions “not to do something” are ones we make by default, not consciously, we decide by just letting it happen instead of making it happen, which is probably the worst way to decide.
The decisions (or choices) we make every day arise due to our worldview! Agreed?
It’s what we know, what we think we know, and what we believe that influences us whenever we make choices, although – and this is a crucial point – we are not always aware of our beliefs nor the influence they have over us. For example, we hold ‘obvious’ beliefs we could argue with others about (politics, religion, health, economics, relationships etc), but we also hold ‘hidden’ beliefs we couldn’t argue with others about - because we are not really aware of them. We might, for example, have a subconscious belief that children’s opinions about adult stuff are not relevant and therefore they shouldn’t express them to other adults (this might manifest itself in a disapproving look directed to one of our kids), or we might believe that it’s totally fine to be short with a waiter who makes a mistake at a restaurant, or we might believe poor people are poor because of their own doing. We might also hold subconscious beliefs that we are not ready to be a parent yet, and this could emanate from our own experience of our upbringing. One of the most damaging and prevalent subconscious beliefs we hold is that our beliefs must be right (otherwise we wouldn’t believe them!)
The point is our worldview is coloured by so many different influences, and it totally shapes the decisions we make and therefore it strongly influences our destiny.
Thor’s decision to stop being who everybody else wants him to be could be seen in this light – his worldview was that he should be a great leader and warrior, but the real Thor is a fun-loving ruckus maker who loves to drink and play Fortnite. Ok, it’s fair to argue that these depictions are two opposite ends of the extreme, and neither are sustainable in the long term, but the point is that it takes a lot of energy to live the life that is expected of you by society. It’s a heavy lift, it’s stressful, and most important of all - it takes you away from the real you, the person you are most inspired to be, and therefore it robs us all of the presence and contribution of the real you.
One of the greatest collective tragedies of humanity is that most of us don’t know who this person really is.
The Thor metaphor it very useful here, because in some sense there is a hero in us all (there are no exceptions to this) but the myth of being the hero is that we always have to be the hero – this ultimately is where the stress comes from.
Obviously, we can’t just do whatever we want all the time – to quote Cicero “Sometimes I do what I want to do. The rest of the time, I do what I have to”. (Or maybe that’s not obvious to some!)
But we do need to swing from one to the other out of practicality, so yes for sure sometimes we need to do what is expected of us by others, but if we stay stuck in this mode we skew our inner compass to the point where we drift slowly off course until we find ourselves running aground on rocks in an unfamiliar place.
This, in a powerful metaphoric nutshell, is where most of my clients are. Hormone and immune systems have drifted off course, numerous signposts along the way were overlooked or ignored due to embedded beliefs which created the false impression of moving in the right direction.
I’ve been there in spades, I know how it feels, and I know how painful and yet how liberating it can be to finally see the truth and to correct course back to the Real Me, or in your case the Real You!
Seating myself at the core of my true self was (and still is) a journey, it required some gentle and some rough ripping of the wool from my eyes, but ever since I consciously chose to go on that journey everything has fallen into place more naturally. You could say I struggle with the right things instead of the wrong things now. (Part of the journey is to accept the reality that the struggle is never ending, and that this is a good thing, not a bad thing!)
I like watching Thor bash bad guys with his hammer, and I also enjoy him overweight, drinking beer and playing video games in an epic blowout of cosmic levels of stress, but mostly I enjoy seeing him normal, in the middle, relaxed and enjoying life as his true self.
It’s a choice – beware the false worldview that prevents you from making it!