“Our puppet strings are hard to see, so we perceive ourselves as free.” – Theodore Melnechuk, Poet and Scientist.
Life – a precious opportunity to exist on the terrestrial plane among animals and fellow human beings. Full of joy, love, service to others, and at the same time riddled with pain, frustration and disappointment. Ever changing events, people, our own body seem to dictate our own emotional states to the point where we have surrounded even a sliver of hope that we, ourselves, can be capable of managing how we think and feel. We’ve all come to accept life as an emotional roller-coaster without the steering wheel.
Any honest introspection will inevitably lead to a stark conclusion – “free-will” is merely an illusion. We have surrendered our emotional intelligence to others, who consciously or unconsciously, have made us their personal emotional puppets. Or perhaps, if one was to look the truth square in the eye – in order to further our agenda, we too have become masters of emotional puppetry. In any case, we live in an interesting social dilemma – others constantly coerce us with their whims, and we have learned to manipulate them in return, all because we have accepted one cold fact – most of our emotions are run by a pre-programmed autopilot.
When you think about it… When someone else makes us do things against our will we call it slavery but what do we call when someone decides what should happen inside of us? I mean, how often do you feel that absolutely anyone around you can pull your strings and make you feel things you don’t want to feel? How often is that someone able to push your buttons and flip your day upside down? I am talking about the worst kind of bondage of them all – emotional slavery. Worst part? Most of us are not even aware of it.
Emotional puppetry can come in so many forms. Just to name a few:
- Threatening through withdrawal of love, sex, money, affection, etc.;
- Installing guilt;
- Playing on your morals or spiritual beliefs;
- Adding urgency and importance.
When it comes to this the last one, there is a short saying that has struck a chord with me. It is a bit snarky but if you use it in a caring way it will work.
To be frank, I’ve been building awareness about my emotional slavery for a few years now and only starting to realize what a full time job that is. I wish it came faster, easier and more spontaneous but I’m sad to report it is a heck of a slow process. I can totally see why some people would rather live in slavery; seriously, they are not even willing to look at that light at the end of the tunnel.
What about you? If you were a prisoner locked up in some frozen land like Siberia and you had to spend one hour a day to dig a tunnel that was guaranteed to eventually take you to freedom would you do it? Would you escape?
Think about it… most prisoners are surrounded by layers of security and barriers like concrete walls, barbed wire, guard dogs and virtually have no chance for liberation, but we do! Does it even make sense that with all our our freedoms and possibilities in this life, we do not try or make time to escape? Why would we squander this precious life like this?
Obviously, our outer world will never happen hundred percent the way we want it but what about our inner world? Is it possible to control our body and mind to the extent of having a freedom to chose how we feel in any given situation? Is it even possible? So many beings have proven that the answer is a resounding YES.
To those of you who are absolutely sick of having others dictate your emotional states – be confident that your efforts to shed the chains of emotional slavery will pay off hundred-fold, heck it will be priceless. When we work on it, put in the time, follow the advice and practice it daily then it works, it really blooming works!
I invite you to join the party and build awareness that due to habits and years of conditioning, your body and mind does not function the way you want it and others have total control of what happens within you. Know that ultimately we are not only gifted with a set of complex emotions but also own a gift of mastering them, and making sense of it all. We simply need to take time to cultivate our inner intelligence and cut those puppet strings loose. May we all achieve liberation together! I leave you with a full poem from Ted Melnechuk:
Our puppet strings are hard to see,
So we perceive ourselves as free,
Convinced that no mere objects could
Behave in terms of bad and good.
To you, we mannikins seem less than live,
because our consciousness is that of dummies,
made to sit on laps of gods and mouth their wit;
Are you, our transcendental gods,
likewise dangled from your rods,
and need, to show spontaneous charm,
some higher god’s inserted arm?
We seem to form a nested set
with each the next one’s marionette,
who, if you asked him, would insist
that he’s the last ventriloquist.
(Image: As Abel 14 Flickr)