‘Thank you Sheepmund,’ Jomo said while he sat down.
“I see traffic treated you well this time?”
‘It did, it did. Although it was actually me who took a train earlier, to make sure to get here on time.’
“Very well. What is the subject that is on your mind this morning?”
“Food you say. Jomo, can and will you elaborate on that a little more?”
‘Well, it’s not food per se. It’s the craving towards certain cookies. And not the craving per se. It’s the bad feeling I get when I crave. Because what I really would like to do, is buy a lot of them, at least thirteen or fourteen pieces, a whole role, perhaps two or even three! And eat them all, I mean.. for real.. But the craving gets mingled up with this weird bad feeling of guilt. It’s in my stomach and fills me up more than the sugar does.’
“Does the guilt have a voice. I mean does it speak to you?”
‘It does, Sheepmund! And it says you should not do this, you are stronger than this. You must resist your urges. It bad to follow your urges. You must restrain at all times. It’s not adult like to eat so many cookies in one evening. You should buy them, store them in your cabinet like normal people do, and just take one every once in a while, or take them out when you have guests over and serve them casually on a glass plate and when they don’t get eaten up, you just put them back, for another casual evening. It’s pathological to (want to) eat them all at once. Don’t be barbaric for even wanting this, luckily you haven’t bought them yet.’
“That sure is a loud voice you got there. Yours?”
“What you are doing here is introject, that is just a fancy abbreviation for all what you just said, and you gave a perfect example of how it plays out in real life. Introjection has to do with feeling boundaries and protecting them. Or better said: not feeling boundaries and not protecting them. Because what you do is let the outer world come inside you. Sometimes it is a good thing to follow orders and to incorporate them, otherwise traffic would be even worse. But some things you should consider first before deciding if you want to identify with them.”
‘Please speak more about this,’ Jomo sobbed.
“Well.. you know that somesheep identify themselves with a television hero in order to make himself feel better about himself, because in that way you can somehow borrow a couple of character traits that you actually do not possess yourself..” Sheepmund said. “In this internalisation you let something from the outer world get into your inner world. Or think about how somesheep can cling to a certain item they once received from a loved or passed one, to still keep that mäh close to them. The same way you can pretend to be a secret princess in order to walk the streets with more confidence (or a prince if you prefer to use a noun that according to current society fits your gender ‘better’).”
‘But the prince or princess talk aside, I am not up for topics like that, all the rest that you say seems to serve a function, namely to keep away fear. The fear of experiencing that pain of mourning over a loved one, the fear of actually feeling that you lack confidence,.. What does that have to do w.?’
“There is another component. The fear of not fitting in. The fear of rejection, that if you don’t act the act, talk the talk, do the deed, rock the flock, run the expected miles, course or pace or whatever, that people will react a certain way, that there are consequences and that there is a right and a wrong way. It’s conditional. If you X.. then Y,” Sheepmund said.
“Because really.. humor me for a sec, what is the problem really with not having confidence? Why should a sheep be defined as having or lacking confidence? Who came up with the concept in the first place? And what is the problem with walking the street without confidence? Confidence is not muscular. You walk the street with your legs. Perhaps with a coat on. But even that is not obligatory. You can walk the street without being at home at the same time and that is not a problem either, right? So show me the book of life that states that a person’s goal should be to have confidence. No, better: convince me why that book states facts. And show me a second book that also states the fact that not having confidence is such a bad thing that you should let your life be governed by that.”
‘Sheepmund, I don’t read that much.’
“You should, Jomo. The same way you should not binge on those cookies.”
‘But… I really don’t w..’
“I know, and that is perfectly fine if that is your decision. I used my imperative as an example. Why can you somehow stand your ground and tell me you don’t want to read and not feel bad about that, while at the same time you do feel bad when you follow these internal food voices that are not yours either?”
‘But.. Sheepmund, you don’t get it, I DO feel bad about the not reading part..’
“Oh okay.. well.. here’s a cookie then.”