Picture a large open field—acres of soft, rolling green hills with wildflowers densely in bloom.
Ahead, a small wooden church awaits. Just a box of a building.
As we near the church, organ music bellows somberly.
Inside, a wedding takes place. The pews on both sides of the aisle are filled with old, craggy people—dusty suits and tattered, tired dresses.
A reluctant bride moves down the aisle, laden in tulle, dress and veil. Layers and layers of it. It all looks musty.
Her head is ensconced by the heavy veil—so heavy she can barely see through it.
What she does see through her veil, everywhere she looks, are the stares of the onlookers. Each pair of eyes commanding the procession, expecting and determining her fate.
The bride’s arm is held tight by the one who “gives her away” as he pulls her along.
Everyone has the same conviction: they all need her to get down the aisle and marry in spite of the fact that her inner voice is crying, “How do I get out of here?!”
The overbearing organ music, the intensity of the onlooker’s stares, the tight grip on our bride’s arm, all speak to a momentum, one that is overpowering the call within her to break free and find her true desires, whatever they may be. She is losing her agency and she knows it.
Not getting what she needs from her environment, she finally succumbs to the weight of it all and drops her head in surrender.
All she can see now is her feet walking along the well beaten wooden floor—something she can gaze into that doesn’t command her with a returned stare.
Into the path of her view, waddling across the wooden planks, toddles a fat little field mouse. He does not demand anything of her either. It is a moment of reprieve, and she draws her first natural breath since she can remember. An authentic sigh.
Her eyes follow the mouse, and a little thought arises from that deep place within her: A field mouse. Heading to the field. The mouse knows how to get out of the church!
And without another thought, and without ever looking up, the spell of momentum is broken. The bride follows the field mouse out of the church, and across the field, until the bellowing organ music is heard no more.
• • • •
Have you ever felt like this bride, at the entrance of a direction you did not want to take but were caught in the momentum of others, or of your own thoughts and feelings, helpless to change course?
This is when the Mouse in the Church is the tool you need.
It is about finding the one thing that can cut through the noise and momentum of your own thoughts and the voices of those around you.
That one thing is the mouse. Just one thing that you know to be true. Lock your sights on it, and don’t look back—or up or to the sides either, for that matter!
Keep your eyes on that single element you know to be true, and don’t stop walking toward it…until you find yourself in the field of your freedom.
Sometimes the Mouse in the Church is the only way through.
November 1, 2020
Doctor of Depth Psychology in private practice, writing, speaking and teaching on the practical application of key techniques and philosophies.