Trapped in Your Tower: disconnect between mind and emotion

17 Sep

Picture a tower. Is it one from a big city like New York, Toronto, Paris, or Taipei where their towers represent strength, beauty and resilience; or is it something like the Tower of London, Tower of Babylon,  or those crumbling remnants across Europe of castles and fortifications long undone?

from annetainter.com

Towers have multiple personalities, but when the tower appears in stories like Rapunzel its meaning (amongst other possible interpretations that I won’t get into here . . . phallic symbols, etc., so please, no giggling.) often has to do with the mind as opposed to any architectural significance. It’s about a character, a woman most often, in crisis. The tower represents her internal struggles of being trapped in her mind, and not connecting to her feelings.

Look now at Rapunzel in her tower, head out the window and scanning the forest. She’s lonely and waiting for someone (the prince, the enchantress, the pizza delivery man – whoever!) to come entertain her; she wants to escape, we know she has means to escape, and yet . . . there she is, staring longingly at the trees that stretch both up to the sky and down to the ground (ground being the magic word to Rapunzel) where their roots dig deeply.

She wants to move forward, and yet she cannot connect her mind with her feelings. Maybe she’s too worried about displeasing her adopted-mother the enchantress, maybe she’s feeling morning sickness from her  private marriage to the prince and subsequent pregnancy, maybe she’s so used to looking down from the tower that the idea of actually climbing down so she could look up has never occurred. Either way there’s a disconnection between her logic and her emotions.

Here’s a real-world example: If you had asked me all those years ago if staying in a bad, emotionally abusive relationship was a good idea for people in general, I would have said: “No a chance.” But if you had taken a look at my life, that’s exactly what I was doing for far too long. My mind and my heart were refusing to align. I was in crisis – trapped in my tower.

Look back on your life when you were in a bad situation. Why didn’t you just up and change things for the better? Why did you tolerate living in your storybook tower for the time that you did? And most importantly, how did you eventually reconcile your logic and your emotions?

Next week we’re going to look at getting out of that tower. Rapunzel is breaking free, baby – and she’s not banishing herself to some stinking desert either. No our girl. Life is about to click for Rapunzel: that ‘ah ha’ moment, and change is going to come.

So I’ll ask again: can you remember being ‘locked in a tower’ in your life? Think of a crisis, and ask yourself: why didn’t I just escape? It’s so easy to look back and see the way out . . . but please be kind to yourself and remember that when in crisis, we often don’t even realize there is a problem. If you can look back and think: “I should have just . . .” then you’ve clearly come a long way from that tower of crisis. (Good for you!)

The story continues next week with Rapunzel’s big escape. Stay tuned!

Till next time.

Camille Boivin is founder of Sister Leadership, bringing her knowledge of resilience, perseverance, and changing perception to others. She aspires to  help women explode their success. For more posts and experiences, join Camille at her Sister Leadership page, connect on Twitter, and follow on Facebook. Welcome to the Sister Leadership community!

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