Updated: Aug 7
Sisyphus, son of Aeolus, founded the city of Corinth, of which he was king. Sisyphus was noted for his cunning and intelligence. As consequence of his betrayal of Zeus, he was sentenced to death. Zeus asked his brother Hades to send Sisyphus to the realm of the dead. Sisyphus managed to escape on several occasions from gods’ will, but he finally had his punishment.
He was condemned to roll a huge rock to the top of a hill, but when the rock was about to reach the top, it fell down the hillside and Sisyphus had to start climbing the rock all over again, and so on for all eternity.
Every day in my practice I hear phrases like: “Always the bridesmaid never the bride”. “Even though I try, I always fell in love with people who are already in a relationship.” “When I argue with my family, it is always about the same issues.” “Every day is the same day. I wake up, work, and go back to sleep. I feel trapped." "Every Sunday I say: on Monday I will start eating healthy and sign up for the gym, but that never ends up happening."
Like Sisyphus, all carrying their own rocks in a loop from which there seems to be no escape.
People usually think they can break this cycle by themselves. They try to change the way to approach their “rocks”. At first, the enthusiasm emerges, the desire to change is there, and when it seems that they are going to be able to take the rock to the top of the hill, it falls down the hill and they return to the starting point. The worst part is that they don't forgivethemselves for failing. They get angry, they blame themselves for not being able to change what they said they were going to change and the loop starts again.
Bluma Zeigarnik, a Lithuanian psychologist and psychiatrist, stated that people remember uncompleted or interrupted tasks better than completed tasks. This makes the rock even heavier.
But there is hope my dearest rock carriers. Psychotherapy is the possibility of leaving your rocks behind. In psychotherapy you will find professionals who will respectfully listen to you, who will understand your suffering and will provide you with tools to overcome your “rocks”.
I read somewhere that psychology is the art of accompanying another person to meet themselves. That is what the psychotherapeutic space is about, it is about leaving the rocks aside and going out to meet yourself.