The map is not the territory


A cliché perhaps, but one worth repeating.

Because there is, in fact, a way out.

Out of those conundrums that cause inertia, depression, and anxiety. Out of confusion, guilt, fear and mistrust. Our of relentless self-criticism.

Behind our issues are well-rehearsed, automatic thoughts. Patterns. A script the unconscious uses to keep us safe and stuck in familiarity.

But the map is not the territory. The map is just a map, and it can be replaced.

Imagine then looking in the mirror and allowing yourself to declare that there is nothing wrong with you. That you are not stuck, broken, or whatever else.

That you are good enough. Lovable. That you matter.

That you are not angry, or anxious or depressed by default. That you are not guilty for other people’s dysfunction or failure projected unto you when you were a child.

That you don’t have to believe the stories you unconsciously tell yourself for no other reason than having learned and rehearsed them so well that they became garments you didn’t choose yet automatically wear.

From maps to music….can you imagine listening to the same song, and one that you detest, every hour of every day for years on end? You’d go mad.

That’s exactly what happens with those scripts programmed into you. A screechy, horrible song playing without you being aware. And as the script grows, it generates more thoughts that turn into beliefs, that turn into habits and choices which you adopt without realizing.

The only signs that something is off are the symptoms you struggle with or notice on occasion. Which symptoms you interpret as something being wrong with you, when in fact, it’s the damn script that plays and plays and poisons.

Once you press pause and start to question everything, it’s amazing how all the inaccurate, illogical and sometimes outright cruel elements come to light. It takes a while, it’s scary, and it takes work, but they all eventually come clean.

I’d compare the experience with that of standing in front of a large closet looking at all the clothes you inherited and even bought yourself….while your jaw drops at the sight of how many simply do not fit you on any level. Things that you’d never actually choose. Things that shouldn’t be there because they’re ugly, outdated and tacky.

And then you start to clean without the toxic script that tells you all you deserve and like is a trash bag instead of that beautiful outfit you chose and fits you beautifully.

You will rethink a lot of choices and principles you imagined were set in stone. Realizing you don’t have to do things the way you always did, or believe what you’ve always believed opens so many wonderful possibilities.

Healing is not about fixing symptoms. That would be like “fixing” the fire alarm that just went off instead of putting out the fire.

Healing is about releasing our true selves from a toxic story we didn’t choose or consciously create as adults.

It’s about releasing guilt over having freed ourselves. Because some people will definitely not approve, and others will even throw stones. Big ones.

And healing is also about navigating the territory of our lives without the illusion of safety and familiarity we’re used to from an outdated, inaccurate map. Learning to be comfortable with uncertainty, and trusting ourselves to create a new, accurate map that’s both healthy and genuine.

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