If we are lucky when we are growing up, we are given the opportunity to enjoy many forms of entertainment. There are television programs, dramas, films. DVDs, digital games books etc.
Often these are highly suspenseful, keeping us on our toes and wondering or controlling what will happen next.
One of the fundamental themes that runs through many of these games is the concept of Good versus Evil, The baddies and the goodies. In Star Wars for example we have the Dark side of the Force and the Light side of the Force. wiki states: “The dark side is portrayed as the evil aspect of the Force (by the Jedi Knights, who instead advocate using the light side of the force),”
Another example is Superman. His arch nemesis and consummate evil genius is Lex Luther. Luther constantly tries to outwit and destroy Superman but never quite manages to do so. Why? Because Superman is goodness personified. It is his mission to use his super powers to help and protect all others. We can take this attitude as far back as our baby-hood with stories such as Sleeping beauty and The Wicked Witch. Again – good versus evil.
In my counselling practice I see many people who are struggling with relationship issues, self esteem, loss and bereavement, anxiety and depression, anger management and so forth.
A theme that is often highlighted in our work together is that the person has become used to thinking in black and white terms – Right or Wrong, Good or bad
I see clients who struggle to come to terms with the loss of someone whom they had a bad relationship with. “Surely I shouldn’t be this upset that he has died – we didn’t get on, I hated him”
I also see clients who can’t understand why their partner is so changeable. “How can he be so selfish sometimes, and so kind at others?
They can’t forgive someone who has hurt them, even though they really want to. “Why did my mother let me down so badly when I was a child and how am I supposed to feel about all this – she is my mother after all?”
Its common for clients to be unable to let go of the anger they feel, even though they know that is the only way forward. “I just want to move on with my life but letting go would mean condoning what he did – wouldn’t it?”
It seems to be all about expectations and seeing each other as one way, or another, good or bad, right or wrong. I am wondering if we are brought up to feel like this because we are subjected to so much of it in stories and games.
Do we believe intrinsically that we fall into one or other category? Do forget that we are all humans with many facets to our personality. We are, in fact, the result of our Life Script, our own personal Stage filled with all the experiences, people and events that have been part of our Play thus far.
We are not characters of fantasy, we are people of reality. We cannot expect of ourselves to be only Good or only Bad. Neither can we expect this of each other. This is only the result of fantasy stories that we have been brought up with.
So remember: You can grieve and feel sad for the loss of a person who you struggled to relate to but who was there in your life anyway.
You can love your mother, but still be hurt by what she did to you.
You can feel bad about how you treated your husband because you were ill, but still accept that you have a loving nurturing relationship
You can love and really appreciate all the good parts of your relationship and accept that he or she isn’t perfect.
You are you, and they are they. We are all just humans. We are not, and never will be Superman !