I recently started knitting for the first time in many years. I discovered that the world of wool has changed! It’s no longer available on every high street, has become a designer commodity, and it costs a lot more than I remember. My reason for knitting has changed too. Once it was a way to get a garment cheaper than I could buy one, and, using chunky needles and wool, a way to get one fairly quickly. Now I have taken time to source and choose the wool, considering how it will feel to work with, and deciding to use fine needles to make the process last while I watch a series of online lectures over the winter.
Counselling and psychotherapy can help us to understand the decisions we took in the past about how to get along and survive in the world. We can appreciate that these decisions made really good sense in the original context, with whatever constraints existed, and with the information and resources we had at that time. But old patterns may not always serve us well nowadays. With no conscious awareness we can repeatedly knit ourselves an unsuitable garment or a metaphorical straitjacket. Reflecting on this with a counsellor or psychotherapist can help us to expand our frame of reference, and develop a wider range of options in the light of our current circumstances, aims and preferences. We can develop new patterns, and free up energy for more creative, spontaneous ways of being.