“Neverland is home to lost boys like me, and lost boys like me are free” -Lost Boy, Ruth B.
Ruth Berhe fantasizes about freedom from loneliness in her song Lost Boy. She muses about life before meeting Peter Pan. When she had no place to call home, and her only friend was the man on the moon. Her lyrics imply the freedom of being a lost boy, the freedom from loneliness, and the freedom from society.
The lost boys find the ultimate freedom from their harsh realities, the freedom of being together in the society they have created in Neverland.
Like the lost boys, our own realities can feel isolating and challenging. We are on our lonely islands floating between the different parts of our lives without much of a thread of community to tie it all together. We live in a society that has progressively made us more self-reliant, independent, “efficient”, yet alone.
Many of us may fantasize about the freedom to escape our harsh realities in our own group of lost boys. When things start feeling out of control in our lives, our country, or our world we fantasize about escaping. Sometimes escaping with our closest family and friends. “Let’s start a commune!” we say excitedly. This fantasy entail the ultimate freedom, to create our own rules and society away from everything and everyone. Our own Neverland.
We glamorize this particular freedom as a way of experiencing independence from the ways we feel confined. We wonder if living separate from society, perhaps even off the grid, will make us happier.
“’Run, run, lost boy,’ they say to me. Away from all of reality.” Lost Boy -Ruth B.
The lost boys truly run away (well, fly) from reality. What are we running away from in our own fantasy of freedom? The oppression of society? The feeling of being confined by the rules or the ways we are treated unfairly? We all have our particular grievances and some of us have been downright wronged. We may begin to contemplate the ways in which our freedoms may have been abused, mistreated, or impinged upon. We may want to fight back, or we may want to flee.
Of course, wherever you go, there you are. Ultimately you will continue to come face to face with yourself. Perhaps there are ways in which we project our own issues on our oppressors. In other words, how do we hold ourselves back but perceive it from coming from someone or somewhere else?
As an example, I have a history of holding myself back from my own success with my fantastically creative delusions. Looking at others as more competent, more professional, more capable and therefor more deserving of success. My disconnect with my own competent, professional and capable aspects of myself make it so I see these qualities as “other” that can only be obtained by folks other than me. Clearly I have work to do!
Though I have silenced this side of myself enough to go to grad school, get licensed and work as a licensed therapist. There are ways that I tiptoe into my success as if undeserving, as if someone will discover me as an imposter in the successes I have created for myself. These are the ways I deny myself my own freedoms of achieving my dreams.
How do you hold yourself back? What would you say to a friend who holds him/herself back in the same way? Can you imagine how kind and awesome you would be to this friend? How can you begin to internalize this kindness?
Because the ultimate freedom is the freedom from our own internalized oppressor. Unfortunately no commune or fantastic vacation will silence this part of ourselves. It takes work and time.
The first step is recognizing that these voices exist and having a sense of curiosity and compassion. The second part is having a good chat and figuring out what’s going on with these parts of ourselves, why is this oppressive voice there and how does it show up? Next is to begin to soothe these parts, “It’s okay undeserving part of me, I understand that you feel that way, but are you open to some other possibilities?”. Final step is to begin to step into our own hopes and dreams and recognizing they they are possible and that we are 100% deserving.
Lost Boy – Ruth B.
There was a time when I was alone
Nowhere to go and no place to call home
My only friend was the man in the moon
And even sometimes he would go away, too
Then one night, as I closed my eyes
I saw a shadow flying high
He came to me with the sweetest smile
Told me he wanted to talk for awhile
He said, “Peter Pan, that’s what they call me
I promise that you’ll never be lonely,
and ever since that day
I am a lost boy from Neverland
Usually hanging out with Peter Pan
And when we’re bored we play in the woods
Always on the run from Captain Hook
“Run, run, lost boy, ” they say to me
Away from all of reality
Neverland is home to lost boys like me, and lost boys like me are free
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