Paul Cockayne – 07791 970406 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to my counselling blog. You can find more information about me by clicking one of the links at the top of this page
I have set myself the target of writing something for this blog every week, and usually I aim to do this on a Sunday morning, as I am doing now. Sometimes I have a good idea of what I’m going to write about, perhaps related to an event that has happened to me personally or something in the news. Sometimes the inspiration comes from my work with clients, something they’ve said, or an idea we’ve developed together in a session. But sometimes there’s nothing in my mind when I sit down to write, and then I hope that something will come into my head, or else I may have to leave it for a better time.
If I lack inspiration, if nothing occurs to me to write about, the expectation that I’ve set myself – to blog once a week – hangs over me. I am left with a feeling that there’s a job I need to do that I haven’t done, a slight sense of failure, maybe some guilt if I do something enjoyable when I haven’t written my blog. I think I can trace these feelings back to childhood messages – rules that my parents imposed on me – “You must keep your promises” – “You can’t watch TV until you’ve finished your homework”. Not bad rules at all, but it’s interesting how they still influence my feelings today.
Are those rules still valid?
“You must keep your promises”. The promise I’ve made is to myself – to blog every week. I don’t think anyone will feel let down or be distressed if I don’t keep this promise. Maybe there are thousands of people out there in cyberspace who wake up on a Sunday looking forward, above all else, to reading this blog. Maybe, but I doubt it. Writing this blog only really matters to me, I think.
“You can’t watch TV until you’ve finished your homework”. Why not? It doesn’t matter what order I do these things in, does it? And my father’s not going to ask, when I switch the TV on, whether I’ve written my blog and then express his disapproval when I admit that I haven’t. I don’t need to feel like a naught boy.
As adults we have choices. Largely, we set our own expectations of ourselves. We are not bound by the rules or standards our parents set us all those years ago, and yet they still hold a strong influence in our lives. Sometimes people still find themselves restricted or imprisoned by these rules (like Miss Havisham in Great Expectations), which maybe are unhelpful in certain situations. And sometimes we don’t even realise that is happening, and it can take someone else to notice what’s happening, and ask that big question ; “Why?”. And then, if we find ourselves saying “Because I’ve always done it like this” or “Because my mum taught me to do it this way”, it’s time to stop and think. And then maybe we can do it a different way – a better way, perhaps. Or maybe we choose to do it the same way “because I want to”, not because I’ve always done it like this. As adults we can make choices – but first we have to realise that there’s a choice to be made.
Ah, blog written, job done. Now, I wonder what’s on TV?