We’re all the heroes of our own stories, but the heroes we admire in literature and on the screen find themselves undergoing spiritual and emotional transformations more often than they find themselves using the bathroom. If all of us are heroes, each going on a continuous, limitless, and recursive journey throughout the stages of our lives, then where are you in your journey? How does it relate to your current struggles? What lessons are here for you to learn?
“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” -Albert Einstein
How can you begin your journey if you aren’t sure which direction to walk in?
This set of anxieties and feelings is not your burden to bear alone. You happen to be in a primal and formative stage of your journey: the process of discovering what you yearn for (even if you can’t quite put your finger on what that is yet). But there is an important visible consequence to undergoing this leg of your journey, and that’s the intense feeling that something is off.
Something isn’t right.
It’s not that your life is a complete disaster, in fact you’re almost certain that it could get a whole lot worse. Like there’s a rock under your mattress that’s leaving a knot in your back each morning. It can be an uphill battle just figuring out where you’ve gone astray. What are you supposed to do about the rock under your mattress? What’s going wrong, and what are you supposed to do about it?
In Beauty and the Beast, we hear Belle sing in the opening number that she wants adventure in the great wide somewhere. She doesn’t know where that is, but she knows that she wants to be there more than she wants things to stay the same. She wants the same type of satisfaction that she feels she’s only read about. Truly a tale as old as time, but how does Belle’s yearning for adventure relate to your own journey of finding the life you truly want? Because the call to adventure and the call to want are one and the same.
“I don’t want whatever I want. Nobody does. Not really. What kind of fun would it be if I just got everything I ever wanted just like that, and it didn’t mean anything? What then?” -Neil Gaiman
It can be a desperate struggle to figure out what you want if you refuse to accept your own desires. It might feel like two of your desires directly contradict one another. For example, many folks will happily live in a house for a long while, then as their family grows, they decide they need to live in a bigger house despite the emotional value of the old house. Sometimes in order to cope with the complexities of daily life, we need to bring two seemingly contradictory ideas into homeostasis. To accomplish this, we use a set of techniques and practices called DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) to bring our minds out of oppositional thinking and into harmony with our needs and desires.
“But,” you ask me. “Where can I learn some DBT skills that I can put into practice in my day to day life?”
“Well,” I say. “If you’re looking to do some reading, have I got some articles for you.”
If you feel ill-equipped to figure out what it is that you want, you might feel prickly at the title of the article I’m about to recommend to you, but Denial is a part of everyone’s journey and nothing to be ashamed of.
If you feel a little more certain about what you want, but unsure what you need to do to get it, then your time might be best served in Finding a Mentor.
“But,” I add. “I think that the best thing you can do if you’re directionless along your path is to book a counseling session with one of the many talented specialists in our practice!”
Sunny Ebsary is a writer and singer-songwriter from Tampa, FL. When he’s not sing-songwriting or just regular writing, he’s probably drinking water with a lot of ice, having a staring contest with his cat, or giving people great ideas. You can listen to Sunny’s music here.