The ties that bind us.

The Elephant Rope.
~ As a man was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at any time, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not.
He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”
The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.~

The average person reads this and thinks – what the hell, this is crazy, these beautiful, majestic creatures are being held in place by the most pathetic rope, how can this be?

You know what’s even more crazy? We are ALL those beautiful, majestic, creatures and have at some stage or still are, being held back by our past limiting beliefs.

We see a world just beyond our grasp that we so desperately want to enter, be it health, positive relationships, a kick ass career, travel, dancing in the middle of the street – not because someone is poking us with a stick, just because it feels great… but no matter what we try, we just can’t seem to get more than a metre any which way.

Majority of people believe that it is our conscious mind that runs the show – you know the thinking mind, the one that is always prattling away in the background somewhere. It says one thing like I want to be a health goddess with ripped abs, then all of a sudden we find ourselves stuffing our faces at the nearest fast-food joint. Or the conscious mind says – I want a meaningful lasting relationship, next minute we are standing at a bar ordering tequila shots, waking up next to a stranger and feeling that heavy, anxious feeling of regret and “what the fuck just happened, why?!”

We all have our own ways of sabotaging ourselves. But don’t worry, you’re not crazy, well actually we are all a little crazy, but trust me when I say, it is not just you, we all do it.


What most of us don’t realize is that it is actually the subconscious mind that runs the show. This mind has been programmed from hundreds of outside sources since we were young and forms the foundation for our underlying beliefs. So if we want love but find ourselves waking up in the aftermath of yet another drunken one-night-stand, you better believe some sort of answer lies in our subconscious. However, unlike the Elephant, most of us are completely oblivious to the ties that bind us.

When I was young my mother left. I don’t need to go into all the details, or play any blame games; things happened, love moves on. But as a child, watching my mother walk away was one of the most devastating moments of my life, little did I know, a rope was tied around my ankle that day and my definition of love would remain skewed for a very long time.

Of course as an adult I can accept the fact that my mother left because she stopped loving my father – obvious right? Not for a child. In my mind, my mother left because she stopped loving us children. I remember bursting into tears sporadically. I would be fine one minute, then the next I would remember my mother had left and become inconsolable. One particular episode, in between my hyperventilating sobs and streams of tears (a trait I still have to this day when crying), I remember repeating the words; “why doesn’t she love me anymore, what did I do wrong?!”

As I got older, I learnt to deal with this, or at least I thought I had, but that rope was tied firmly around my ankle and would continue to inhibit me in more ways than I realized.

Love is a huge fucken subject and whether we are aware of it or not, our initial interactions early on in childhood, establish our relationship to it.

If we are abandoned, abused, shown indifference… it all gets stored away and slowly, thread by thread, it builds the rope that will bind us. Whatever it is that we witness or experience, will become our ‘truths’…
I am not worthy of love
Love hurts
Love doesn’t last
Love is untrustworthy
The longer we leave these ideas unexamined, the stronger they become and the greater potential they have to cause more pain and suffering down the track.

I was shown absolute unconditional love from my father and families that helped raise me, but it didn’t matter, this idea of not being worthy of love was already packed away neatly, deep in to my subconscious.

These ropes come in all shapes and sizes too. Maybe someone made a throwaway comment when you were a child about being chubby, they didn’t mean to tie a rope around your ankle for life, but your child’s mind, stored that away and it eventually became the bases for your body image issues.

In my case, it went something like this: if my mother could leave me, that must mean she didn’t love me, therefore I am unworthy of love. I also didn’t trust myself, I figured that if my mother could leave my father, I was also capable of doing the same. So as well as feeling unworthy of love, I didn’t trust myself to love – a diabolical combination for self-sabotage (note: none of this was my mother’s fault, it certainly wasn’t fact, it was simply MY perception of the situation).

We all deal with this in different ways, some may become angry, bitter and hardened to the world, others continue to fall into abusive relationships or repeat patterns by becoming abusive, some do everything they can to please others at the cost of living their own life and following their dreams…

Me? As a teenager and into my early 20’s, I was an absolute train-wreck when I it came to love. I looked for love in all the wrong places, namely one-night-stands and going after the wrong guys. It was a vicious cycle, that would always leave me curled up on the floor asking why does this keep ‘happening’ to me?! (*cry, wallow, get drunk, repeat*). Though it wasn’t all doom and gloom, I dated plenty of great guys and was even engaged to an amazing guy at one point – everything I thought I had ever wanted… but, inevitably I unconsciously sabotaged all of these too.

My world was in constant turmoil as my conscious and subconscious mind played tug of war:
Conscious mind: I want love in my life.
Subconscious mind: I am not worthy of love, I don’t trust love, so I need to sabotage the shit out of anything that comes our way.
Result: CHAOS

Can you see the ridiculous correlation here? Our actions in life can never match what it is we truly want until our subconscious and conscious mind are aligned. But to do this we first need to take an honest look at ourselves, we need to acknowledge that we are being held back by ropes that have been with us since childhood…

Four years ago now, I met a man who asked me a very simple question:
Do you believe you deserve to be loved?

The obvious answer is of course, YES. I mean, we all deserve to be loved don’t we, is it not our God-given right? We are taught all about this in school: we all deserve love, we are all special, self-esteem is important, blah, blah, blah… But here is the clincher ~ take a moment, ask yourself, is this really true for you? Because when I was asked this exact question, my immediate answer was not YES. I hesitated. In that brief pause I felt all the years of denying love pull down on my heart and I caught the first glimpse of the rope that had me bound. It would be a couple more years before I really faced this truth and stared down some of my demons; but here is a fun fact – the man who asked me this question, would eventually be the man I bought a one-way ticket to Croatia for and married.

Breaking free
Here comes the hard part, let’s say we have looked down and can now see the rope(s). Now what? Breaking free isn’t always as easy as it seems. This is where our mind fucks with us a little more (just for good measure). When you finally stare down some of your limiting beliefs, be prepared for the backlash from the mind/ego. You see the ego’s job (the thinking mind) is to remain in control and it does everything in its power to ‘protect us’, though unfortunately (like an overprotective parent) its decisions are fear-based and generally detrimental. Because while it can see the rope, no matter how much pain it has caused thus far, at least the outcome is known – whereas there is nothing scarier than the unknown future, it might be worse, we might die! – A little over-dramatic but this is basically how the ego (and overprotective parents) work. So you better believe it will do everything in its power to fight back AGAINST the idea of breaking free and it sounds something like this…

What’s that rope doing there, who put it there? It is the trainer’s (mother, father, whoever) fault… It doesn’t matter, that rope is part of me, it actually protects me… I can see the rope and it’s all my fault, how could I have let this happen, I have I been standing here for so long, woeth me… I am so fucken pissed off, I am going to stand here kicking and screaming until everyone knows just how pissed off I am and I will hurt anyone that comes in my vicinity… Ok, I am done being angry, I have no energy left, I am just going to accept my fate and lie here…

Does even part of this sound familiar? I know it did for me. My mind immediately jumped on the defence blaming everyone and everything, in fact it pretty much went through all of these motions; but so long as we play the victim, we can never break free.

The uncomfortable truth in all of this, is that it doesn’t matter who put the rope there or how long it has been there. The only thing we can control is how much longer we stand there with this frayed, pathetic thing holding us back, it is all up to us.

There is only ever one way to break free. We have to charge. We have to accept responsibility for the here and now and charge at life, into the unknown. Accept that the blame game gets us absolutely nowhere, we must charge. Accept that we don’t know what the outside world may hold, but it has to be better than standing in the same spot, we must charge. Accept that there is a high possibility that love may fucken hurt like hell, but there is just as good a possibility that it might be freakin’ amazing, we must charge.

Just CHARGE. Charge into life, into love, because my dear, you are a beautiful, majestic creature that does not deserve to be tied up, there is a whole jungle out there waiting to be explored. So what are you waiting for? It's time to break free!

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