A woman committed a crime, but it was not until later that evening that she heard the dreaded knock upon her door. She opened it to two tall and burly policemen who did not hesitate inviting themselves in. “Your ex-husband was found dead in his home, Ms. Jones, a bullet wound to his head,” said the darker of the two. “We have a warrant to search your home, and another for your arrest.” Ms. Jones stammered, her heart beating faster than a jackhammer. The last thing she remembered was falling. Falling and falling until she awoke in a tense and fevered sweat. “Oh my God!” she said and gasped for air. “It was a dream. Oh thank God, it was just a dream…”
Your beliefs about yourself and life can be a rigid and controlling government to your larger personality. They may set cramped limits on who you are, how you should behave, what you should think, and who you should associate with. Your ruling beliefs and identity can be a hindrance to your future self. They define boundaries, rules, and laws which you dare not transgress. And if you do transgress, you are likely to encounter the “who do you think you are” police.
Such was the case with this woman. Depressed and unhappy for many years she was becoming a new person through her psychotherapy. She was learning, growing, and making courageous changes in her life. She began to develop her natural talent as a writer. She started to be more assertive with people and to stand up for her own needs. She was actually happy—and consistently so—for the first time in more than twenty years.
To her old self these changes in attitude were quite bold. But the event that rumbled like an earthquake through the depths of her being was her decision to pay $250 to have two rooms in her house painted. Finances were tight for her and this investment, which brought more color and warmth into her home, was her boldest move yet. Brazenly, she chose to do something that affirmed her own value as a person. It unearthed memories of the day, some forty years earlier, when she had found the courage to leave her abusive husband. This time she refused to bow down before the iron-fisted considerations of practicality and frugality. She killed her stern inner critic, and so the cops showed up at her dreamland door.
When your spirit has been oppressed, taking a stand against your inner dictator and placing higher value on your own needs can feel like breaking the law. Often, it is a law that must be broken in order for you to embrace your larger being. It is a “necessary crime,” because you must commit it in order to feed your soul.