Introducing new writer for Wikizine, Steve Lauder. Steve is a practitioner of Ericksonian Hypnotherapy and has worked in volunteer support of Anxiety UK.
'There are two things that are important when using a map. Point one, is to know where you are on the map. Point two is to know whereabouts you want to get to.
Now, when going through life changing events in relationships there are bound to be times when you may feel temporarily lost. That then is the time to look around for the familiar, and avoid running headlong into unexplored territory... avoid going off in any old direction. It is a time to exercise reasonable caution. The important thing to recognise, is that the rules have changed, and so has the terrain.
Can you imagine navigating your way across a city by using an old map? For certain there will be roads and pathways that are recognisable, but the map’s insistence that a particular road exists may well bear little relation to what is in front of you. Also you will come across roads that in actuality are not shown on the map.
You can see then the ineffectiveness and difficulties in attempting to navigate your way by using an outdated map, and no amount of insistence will enforce the map’s version of things upon reality.
This then may be likened to, and a parallel of the new territory you find yourself in while going through a break-up or divorce. Many of the old ways by which you navigated yourself, even in a fraught relationship no longer apply. But insisting that something exists in an earlier form serves only to sabotage the process of personal recovery and healing. It is worth pointing out that is matters little whether you are the instigator, recipient, or equal partner of the relationship’s demise.
Some of the anxiety will be caused by attempts to impose old knowledge on a new situation. Why? Well one often hears people say that they feel lost as a result of the unwelcome changes to their model of the world that has been thrust upon them, and how is it possible to be anything but lost by using a map that is completely out of date?
So, what to do? The first step is to acknowledge that the old map needs revising, that there are some roads which cannot be used anymore, and to accept that this is the case, rather than insist that the world should be a certain way. It is the continued insistence that causes the anxiety, and contributes to the sense of loss.
On the other hand, if you look around you, new avenues also open up, (although some of these may at first seem daunting). However these new roads... these new opportunities, allow you entrance into new and unexplored territories, and the prospect to grow and learn.
Occasionally you may also encounter roadblocks that mean you have to reroute whether you are using a current or an old map, and then there are holdups and jams that can slow you to a crawl. These things happened to you even before your map changed.
This very morning, a lorry was on its side near the M25 where I was attempting to pass, having spilt its load of onions all over the roadway, and the radio announcer commented that the driver was probably looking for a hard shoulder to cry on.
This made me think, as funny as the situation seemed that although we all experience frustrations and holdups, there is still someone worse off than you. Thankfully though, no-one was injured in this case, and the worst of it was that the driver was left answering lots of embarrassing questions, and probably had more paperwork to fill in than the dreaded Form E.
In the history of cartography, (the art of map making), Maps became increasingly accurate and factual during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries with the application of scientific methods. Many countries undertook national mapping programs. Nonetheless, much of the world was poorly known until the widespread use of aerial photography following World War I. Modern cartography is based on a combination of ground observations and remote sensing.
Having passed through a probable war zone yourself, you will find that your knowledge of the new layout of your life will increase, slowly at first, but if you embrace the opportunities for growth, gradually you will come to realisations that could not have been arrived at by any other means, and you shall grow and become stronger if you read the signs that life offers,
While looking for additional inspiration for this piece, I came across the wise words of others':
“When there is a start to be made, don't step over! Start where you are.” Edgar Cayce
“Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” Martin Luther King Jr.
“The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be the beginning.” Ivy Baker Priest
“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” Carl Bard
“When you come to a roadblock, take a detour.” Mary Kay Ash
And finally, although no mention of maps...:-
“What wound did ever heal but by degrees?” William Shakespeare