Sometimes I miss the walls around my heart.
This statement might shock you, but it’s true.
Many years ago, I watched a documentary about Patty Hearst. She was kidnapped at age 19 and a few months later was helping her captors commit crimes.
Seems kind of crazy, right?
Instead of being freed from her captors and returned home, she was thrown in jail. The case led to a long discussion about Stockholm Syndrome, which is when a victim begins to have positive feelings toward his or her captors.
The consensus was that Patty Hearst deserved her punishment, but President Jimmy Carter eventually pardoned her.
This brings me back to the walls around my heart. It’s easier for me to disengage than to risk pain. My dad and stepmom call me out on it all the time.
“Audra, you know what to do. You always have a choice.”
The gap between knowledge and action trips us up all the time.
- You’re a diabetic who refuses to cut back on dessert.
- You’re a procrastinator who refuses to turn off the TV or computer.
- You’re an alcoholic who refuses to leave the party lifestyle.
It’s easier to give in than it is to put up a fight.
The hardest part in my own journey is knowing that personal responsibility still knocks at my door.
If I hide behind walls, I am choosing to hurt someone else.
Even if I didn’t mean to.
Even if I did.
I can’t blame psychology either. Stockholm Syndrome is real, no doubt, but it can’t negate the power of choice.
You and I are not victims anymore.
Those tired, old excuses for poor behavior won’t get us far.