For the majority of us moments of real happiness, at the best, are
short lived. To fall back to a state of not being unhappy is a normal,
stable, workable state of being that allows the moments of real
happiness to just happen.
If you find your normal state of being is unhappy then there is
something wrong in your life and though your unhappiness is caused
by an outside (outside of your control) influence, as I take you
through the meanings of each image you will find the path away from
unhappiness is totally under your control.
Technically, as you can see, the Map is not a map as you will know
maps to be, but with a little understanding of what the six
illustrations represent, a life journey can be planned.
Have you ever had a big life changing decision to make?
Did you think of, or write down, the pros and cons of the
consequences of your decision/action to give yourself something
tangible to help you make a decision?
The Map endeavours to take the idea of a pros and cons list much
further, to make tangible much more information.
Each picture depicts a place we can be mentally and emotionally in
our relationships with the world, different places for different
relationships, all at the same time.
With the Map, once understood, if we can be honest with ourselves as
to where we are in any particular troubling relationship we can then
see the steps to take to improve our situation .
There are a few rules to this type of map reading, the first, and most
important rule is that it is only for you !!
It is not possible to consider where someone else is on the Map to try
to help them.
Having said that it could be helpful for a relationship for another to
see where you feel you are in your relationship with them.
Our position in the world is defined by how we relate to everything
and everybody, how we relate to our friends, our environment, our
partner, our family, our government, our neighbours , our poverty,
our riches, our education, our boss, our workers etc. etc. Our
problems come from how all the above relates to us!
I trained as a nurse for people with learning disabilities in Liverpool
and it was during this training I gave a talk to a group of nurses and
tutors on the map, at the end of the talk I took questions and one
nurse, looking at the blackboard on which I had drawn the places of
the map, asked me “where does it start ?”
There is no start, and no end, life goes on regardless and the problems
life throws at us we rarely see coming, often we only know we have a
problem when we feel the effects of it and mostly the actual problem is
beyond our control.
With this in mind please bear with me when I say the start, new
beginnings, is at the end so we shall start at the end.
Loss, Emptiness, Broken Dreams &
for as far as the eye can see .
Pain and despair may have brought you here but now there is just
Life is precious, though the thought of starting again will be daunting
there is a way out.
Take the stairs.
Those stairs symbolise the concept of taking one small step at a time,
the platforms symbolise small goals you need to set yourself.
These goals will be different depending on your situation, the goals a
peasant women, after an earthquake, sitting on the rubble of what
used to be her home, mourning the death of her children will be very
different from the film star whose loved husband has just left her for
another woman. But either way both have to move on, slowly, step by
For the peasant woman her first small step could be to make a shelter
so that she can get some sleep and enough strength to go and (take her
next step) find some clean water to keep her going until the next day
when she will need to take her next step and go find food.
The film star, though her loss is incomparable to that of the peasant
woman can feel just as empty. You cannot feel emptier than empty, and
though her steps will be very different they still have to be identified
These two examples may seem a little extreme, maybe you just feel you
are here because life for you is just ‘OK’, you go through the motions
but its all routine, you don’t feel empty because of any loss, you just
feel empty because in your life maybe there is no feeling of purpose,
or satisfaction or creativity. Possibly downloading this Map was your
first step, taking the trouble to make a a nice poster of the Map to
remind you day to day about your life path could be the next step.
As with any place on the map there are many scenarios, only you know
how you got here and what your small steps could be, the important
thing is to identify those steps and, little by little, climb the stairs to the
Lessons will have been given but not necessarily learned here, new
beginnings are created but not necessarily carried through to the end
here, it is too early, the past is too raw .
Earlier I mentioned the map is all about you, it is now that you have to
provide for you, you are both the inner child and the outer parent,
here there is no one else to provide for you, others may be able to help
but you are the one that must get that help.
It may be cold and lifeless here like a lifeless ploughed field in the
winter but plant the seeds now and in a few months you will be in a
very different place.
Key concepts for this place,
step by step
small achievable goals
provide for yourself
understand there is a lesson to be learnt
Decisions, Freedom, Influence, The Future.
At the bottom right of this place is the last platform at which you will
have arrived at by taking those small steps upward, back into the
This is probably the most important place on the map, it is here you
decide the structure of your future.
At this place you are free to decide for yourself, real freedom is a
strange thing, as soon as you use your freedom to decide a path
complete freedom is lost, when you commit to a future there are bills
to pay, work to be done, consequences to work through, responsibilities
to take on, all of which chip away at your freedom.
It is really worth spending a little time here bathing in your freedom
before you decide what to do next.
So what are your options?
We can take the path to the bridge and begin what looks like a very
long uncertain walk to what cannot be seen, or we can take the easier
route by going down to the jetty and getting in the boat to drift with
the current to where ever it takes us.
If you take another look at this place you will see the current, the
darker water, takes us through an opening to the next place we will be
This darker water, the current, is the force of influence.
We are all affected by some form of influence, what we wear, the way
we speak, what our expectations are, our drinking habits , our beliefs.
Some influences are good for us some are most definitely bad for us.
The difference between the good and the bad influence is a good
influence shows us the path that will benefit us, the bad influence
shows us the path that will benefit the influencer.
The role of the influencer will be discussed in the next two places we
will visit and need to be read before one can fully understand this
place because the first four places to be discussed form a cycle you
may be in without realising it, this needs to be understood before you
can go forward.
There is the concept of going with the flow and there is the concept of
fighting against the flow and there is a ‘Map’ concept of taking the
bridge to walk over the flow altogether.
The bridge, over a vast expanse of water, is your path to the future
that you have decided to construct for yourself.
This is a path into the complete unknown, or to put it another way, this
is the path away from everything you have known.
OK it is easy for me to sit here conceptualising , but what does it all
mean in the real world, ‘constructing the future’, ‘into the unknown’.
It gets worse!!
You have to believe in yourself and follow your heart, do only what
feels wholesome and maybe follow some influences that have been
good in your life.
You may be sitting at a real crossroad, a real bus station, a real
airport thinking you have just read these words but the concepts do
not exist in the real world .
I don’t blame you, I have also heard and read wishy washy concepts
that at the time blur rather than clear up the problem and yet what I
have just told you to do is 99% of parenting.
Millions of parents, every day go about constructing a future for their
children, and the only guidelines they have is what the love in their
hearts tells them and what feels wholesome and right.
To believe in yourself, to follow your heart and to only do what feels
wholesome are real concepts and with the help of the Map, the only
tools you need to get where you want to be.
You again have to be your own parent, both the inner child and the
Keeping with the parent child theme an example in real life of this
place would be the difference between good parenting and bad
A good parent would lead their child to the bridge, away from bad
influences, a good parent, without knowing what the future holds for
their child has faith that they are equipping their child with all that he
or she will need to cross the bridge safely to the future.
Bad parenting would allow their child to drift in the boat from one
bad influence to another, possibly because neither parent or child
realise that a bridge to the future exists.
Earlier I spoke of the first four pictures or places where we can find
ourselves, form a cycle or a circle, though we haven’t yet described the
other two places I would like now to touch on what that circle is, the
reason being that it is this place where the circle can be broken.
As we will see further on, the two top pictures represent places where
you have value, that is, places where you value yourself and others
If you take the bridge you are valuing yourself, this may mean taking a
course, learning a trade, trying your luck in a new place, whatever it is
that you do it is something that feels wholesome for you, you are
developing your creativity for you despite what others may say, I add
despite what others may say because there always seems to be someone
who given the chance would exert their influence over you for their
Not valuing yourself is very common, though you wouldn’t get to this
place and consciously say to yourself “I have no value” the fact that the
real creative you has never had a chance to emerge is likely to make
you feel you are not capable of crossing that long bridge so you decide
to take the boat and drift along straight back into the cycle or circle
taking you to the next place we shall discuss.
Key concepts for this place.
Decisions made by what feels wholesome
Construct your future
Freedom to be you
Influence and influencer
Not valuing yourself
Listening to what your heart tells you
Believe in yourself
Lies, Powerless, Drifting.
Here is the source of the current of influence, the rock to the left, to
the bottom right is a break in the border, the entrance through which
the current will bring you if you took the decision to get in the boat.
The current takes you off into a misty swamp, a marshland where the
mist hides the truth and the many winding channels hide the real
direction you are going .
To the middle of the picture there is another break in the border, this
is the entrance to the last picture in this cycle or circle.
If you live on a desert island, completely self sufficient, only then you
will not find yourself here.
This is the place people in power, represented by the rock, manipulate
the rest of us to live to a constraint that will keep them in power.
I am not just describing dictators, terrorists, bullies and wife beaters
they are obvious power hungry influencers.
The sayings, “kept in the dark” or “taken for a ride” describe this
To be taken for a ride requires an influencer and an ‘influenced’
In real life this can be something mildly annoying like trying to get
your money back for faulty goods or services from a faceless
impenetrable bureaucracy, ranging through to life destroying incidents
like debtors hounded to the point of suicide.
In this place it not just that an act or situation is being imposed on you
it is you allowing it to be imposed by sitting in the boat going with the
flow that is controlled by your influencer, you know something is
wrong but you cant quite put your finger on what that is, this is
because with all the twists and turns of the channels in the swamp you
end up with no idea where you are, or where you stand, and if you
look for the truth all you find is a thick mist that hides it.
In the previous place I spoke of following your heart and only doing
what feels wholesome, how many times have you thought “I knew
there was something not right about that” but didn’t take any action?
Well that is what believing in yourself is all about, believing in those
The usefulness of this picture, of seeing this place , is that instead of
going down the downward spiral in the next place, the last place of this
cycle, after the second or third unanswered call, the second or third
excuse, the first couple of attempts at manipulating you, the reaction
that makes you think your not valued or just the feeling that
something is wrong, then look at the this place and ask yourself are
you drifting through a misty marshland of lies, do they have all the
power in this situation?
If they do then it is time to get out of that boat, step into the sticky
mud and sum up all your strength to walk, step by step, back to the
bridge, away from the influencer.
In real life it will mean you saying to yourself “ I have had enough of
the truth being hidden, of not being valued, of not treading my own
path, of going with your flow, your direction, for your benefit”
As in real life, it is not that simple, do you know the difference between
wishful thinking and your heart’s intuition and are you just being
paranoid and fearful that the ‘they’ have all the power?
With an understanding of this place in some situations its so obvious
that you are in the marshlands, in other situations it is all far more
The truth is that we have all been in this misty marshland of lies as the
victim, the influenced, and also we have all at some time been the
The way to tell if you are being paranoid or just wishfully thinking
somehow everything will turn out for the best is to honestly ask
yourself are you , or do you aim to be, the influencer?
In the previous place I spoke of constructing your future, is the
influencer not constructing their future, of course they are, so what is
The difference lies in the intention. To return to the parent child
analogy, every parent is capable of being an influencer, the parent
holds the power in a parent child relationship.
As an example a child comes home from school exhausted, the parent
notices the child’s tiredness and sends them to bed early, this is a
parent on the bridge leading their child to the future, the parent’s
intention is wholesome. On the other hand a parent sending their
child to bed early because the parent wants to have some grown up
time is being the influencer. (child “but why?” parent “because I say
so!”) the intention is one of benefiting the influencer.
Another example can be found in politics, many go into politics to be
influencers with the intent to use the marshland of lies to gain wealth
and exert power, but on the bridge a few honest souls in politics have
the intent to make sure that bridge to the future is well maintained for
In life we all have to get stuck in, earn a living , bring up children and
every day we interact and relate with others, make choices about who
to trust and invest in that trust. A good term of reference when we are
deciding who to trust is to step back and ask ourselves are they
showing us our way on the bridge to our future for our benefit or are
they pulling us along through the marshland for their benefit?
Is your doctor a healer or a businessman/woman? Is your boss a
provider/facilitator or an influencer, does a significant other care or
do they manipulate, the difference will always be their intention.
It is hard sometimes not to be the influencer, was my website designed
to influence you into buying this PDF? Do you now feel like I am
pulling you through the marshland of lies?
Well I will tell you that what you have paid for is a lifetime of my life
experience and over ten years thought and my intention is that we can
all have a better life in this exchange.
The website and this PDF were both designed with the intention to not
be an influencer and yet promote, sell and deliver a concept.
Or am I lying??
Sorry I don’t want to confuse you, taking you one direction and then
another but I wanted to make the point that truth is what you feel it to
be not just what others tell you, what feels wholesome is your guide, it
is your guide to the truth and your guide to your path. And, if you can
believe me, this whole project feels wholesome for me.
So are you being over sensitive or paranoid? Well first I can tell you
the difference between wishful thinking and intuition, intuition more
often than not tells you what the bad things are, where as wishful
thinking only tells you what you want to hear, also intuition is felt in
the body, wishful thinking is just made up thoughts in the head, fun
Now have you just read all this and think you are being paranoid
about people having power over you? Well forget what you think, take
more notice of what you feel and if you feel you are in this place then
you probably are, whether you are paranoid or not you will be right,
you will always be right, whether you are right or wrong you will
always be right, because if you were wrong it was right for you to be
wrong because you had a lesson to learn.
You are not alone, we all have lessons to learn.
Key concepts for this place.
having no direction
not being valued
giving up your power
a test for your intuition
Downward Spiral, Pain, The End.
This is the place where wishful thinking has been smashed.
Where the awful truth that the lies were hiding has been uncovered.
Or the realisation of loss.
From any part of the map we can find ourselves at the bottom of the
spiral staircase in a second, it could be a phone call, an act of nature,
an accident or an act of malice. One moment everything is or appears
to be (depending on where you are on the map) fine, the next moment,
that piece of truth, that earthquake, that landslide, that road accident
and you are here.
So there are two ways to this place, the instant calamity or the slow
progress through the marshland to the edge and then metaphorically
pushed down the steps by your influencer.
As there is not a lot we can do about the instant calamity let us take a
look at the area we can do something about and that is the influencer.
Here there is the base of the rock , the power, the influencer, and next
to it is a slimy dripping spiral staircase, in fact it is a one way staircase
The influencer is very powerful, very solid and immovable but it has
one vulnerability, the moment you touch it the influencer’s power
dissolves so it will fight to the end to prevent you touching it.
The closer you get to the influencer the closer you will get to being
thrown away down the stairs.
There are some rare exceptions, some tenacious souls have found a
way through the marshlands above and instead of arriving here have
managed to touch and destroy the influencer.
The 1970s era Pulitzer prize journalists Woodward and Bernstein are
a good example of the exception. Their fight to discover the truth led
to the forced resignation of the then USA President Nixon. For more
information ‘google’ Watergate or/and Woodward and Bernstein
But for most of us we neither have the strength or the resources to
‘touch’ our influencers. It would have been better to have turned your
back on the influencer in the marshland but for what ever reason you
believed your influencer, blindly ran towards the influencer with open
arms but just before you were able to embrace your influencer you
found yourself at the bottom of the spiral staircase.
An example of arriving here would be the first an unsuspecting spouse
finds out there is something wrong with their marriage is that
moment of horror and disbelief when out of the blue they receive the
Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Castles Made of Sand’ tells of a girl about to commit
‘There was a young girl, who’s heart was a frown
Cause she was crippled for life,
And she couldn’t speak a sound
And she wished and prayed she could stop living,
So she decided to die
She drew her wheelchair to the edge of the shore
And to her legs she smiled you wont hurt me no more
But then a sight she’d never seen made her jump and say
Look a golden winged ship is passing my way
And it really didn’t have to stop, it just kept on going…
And so castles made of sand slips into the sea, eventually’
We don’t know if the ‘golden winged ship’ cured her or if it was
symbolic of her being taken to heaven.
For a discussion on the meaning of these lyrics see
I believe that the castle she had built out of sand was the plan to
commit suicide, I believe Hendrix meant when he said
‘But then a sight she’d never seen made her jump and say
Look a golden winged ship is passing my way’
was that in her moment of despair she saw something beautiful.
I don’t believe she was cured physically, golden winged ships don’t
exist, I do believe Hendrix meant emotionally, in a moment, the
cripple girl saw the beauty of life, saw, despite her disabilities that
there was value in her being and symbolically the sight she saw
washed the despair away from her heart.
The golden winged ship didn’t stop and neither did her disability, all
that changed was a shift in her outlook on life.
I mention the cripple girl to try to to paint a picture of the despair that
one can feel here, this is the place that people consider suicide as an
option to escape this place, people who have committed suicide have
felt this is the only option here but they were wrong.
A couple of times I have spoken of both being the parent and the child
and parenting the child within you, conversely here it is possible to be
both the influenced and your influencer. If you are telling yourself
suicide is the way out of this place then you are trying to influence
yourself, pulling yourself through a marshland of lies, hiding the real
truth in a mist of emotional despair.
Here is the end of the four picture cycle, NOT the end of your life.
Below is the url for listings of helplines and centres throughout the
world helping those considering suicide or suffering with depression
From here as the initial shock turns to numbness you arrive at the
bottom of the metal stairs where we started, the place of loss and
emptiness, the place of broken dreams but most importantly the place
of New Beginnings .
And so we complete the lower cycle or circle that you may be in for the
first time or may be back in again and again.
Life in this cycle is hard and sometimes painful but there are two other
places to be in on this map away from this vicious circle of pain, loss,
having no direction or value, lets return to the bridge to the future
and decide to never get in that boat again, and walk our own path on
the bridge to the future, to the next place on the Map.
Key concepts for this place.
Shock realisation of loss and finality
getting too close to the influencer
thoughts of suicide
the end of something for you
the end of the cycle
Letting Go, Forgiveness, Closure
After a hard long walk, along the bridge to the future you will arrive
at this place.
As I said before in real life you may have been trying your luck in a
different area, doing a course, learning a skill or trade or maybe you
remained living in the same place, staying at the same job, keeping the
same social circle but importantly made small wholesome changes to
your life, your changes for you.
There is a misconception about ‘living life to the full’, when I hear that
phrase it is usually describing someone with lots of money who is
spending it unsustainably on short term pleasure.
To really live life to the full you have to create. You have to invest in
your creativity to live life to the full sustainably. Developing our
creativity is how we develop our personal growth and how we can
value ourselves and how others can value us.
It doesn’t matter what you do all that matters is that you do
something, something that feels wholesome. Wholesome doesn’t mean
it has to be safe and boring, it just means that it metaphorically tastes
good and is nourishing, or to use another phrase, it doesn’t leave a bad
taste in your mouth! You don’t even have to be good at what you do
you just have to do it and enjoy it.
To have reached this point you will have been developing your
creativity and will value yourself but to carry on your path to the
future in sight you will benefit by a short stop at this place.
You have come a long way, now you can see the end of the bridge, just
past the bridge is a path that goes through a valley between the fertile
hills ahead, a path to walk to turn a good future into a good present.
But before the end of the bridge we can see an island with a faint path
going down to the water,’s edge, you need to walk that path before
getting to your future.
If you used the Map to get here, most probably you will still be
carrying some of the darker past with you, short of being given a
lobotomy there is no way to delete the past from your memory, even if
we could we would also delete those hard learned lessons which we
certainly do not want to do.
From here on your life, or your input into your life, should be balanced
and informed, we have to discard any influence from the past that will
confuse or put you off balance.
So what exactly are we going to do?
To help define something vague it helps to look at what its opposite is,
the opposite to this place is getting revenge! A past incident has so
taken over your thoughts and emotions that you want someone to pay
and you will do anything to make them pay, your mission in life is to
make them pay, there was an incident, you were the influenced they
were the influencer and now you want revenge by turning the tables, if
not in reality, certainly in your mind, day in day out you scheme. But
take a look at the map, do you really want to become the influencer?
Forever stuck solidly in the ground in a place of pain and suffering,
looking out over a swamp?
We don’t want to remove the memories, we don’t want to remove the
lessons learnt but we do want to remove the angst that the memories
Closure, letting go, and forgiveness are all about closing the book of
the past releasing the angst, lightening the load so life can move on, but
how is it done?
When doing research for the Map the image for letting go most used
on the internet was a pretty girl with her arms outstretched and a dove
or butterfly flying away, for forgiveness there was mostly religious
themes and for closure there didn’t seem to be anything helpful.
Everything here in the map is from my experience of travelling with
the map, I have experienced religious forgiveness which worked great
but didn’t last because I lost faith in the religion, having said that if
you are of a religion that embraces forgiveness I thoroughly
recommend you discuss it with them.
I am not sure there is a difference between closure and letting go, but
for me the image for closure and letting go would be dancing at a
I didn’t add a ‘raving’ image because it was too specific to me but
that is how I achieved letting go and closure. I danced out my angst.
I would let the thoughts come and go, let the feelings flow over me, let
the rhythm move my body.
As I danced through the night, in my mind, my past was replayed,
sadness, happiness, regrets, pain, guilt, lost love, hate evaporating in
the heat and sweat and sound.
Dancing through the night, dancing out of my own darkness into the
light of a new dawn.
I give this example to show that the concepts of forgiveness, closure
and letting go are very real things and are not just intangible mumbo
I mentioned earlier I didn’t think there was a difference between
letting go and closure but I do believe there is a difference between
forgiveness and the other two, for example the parents of a child gone
missing, for them closure and letting go may mean the abandonment
of the child, something they could never think of doing, but forgiveness
is something they could consider to help them move on with their lives
while at the same time not abandoning hope for the return their
At times the map has surprised me with its truth, when I was writing
the description of the previous place I realised that this place is the
place of a controversial practise, legal in some countries, and a
practise I have no views on worth writing but this place is also the
place of assisted suicide.
The dying patient of sound mind and balanced emotion who wants to
take control of their inevitable death, to save themselves maybe a
month or two of intense pain, tie up any loose ends and say goodbye to
their families, and importantly to facilitate forgiveness, letting go and
closure for their informed family.
As in all places within the map, your particular circumstances will
dictate your particular actions that need to be taken, you will have to
find your own way down the path to the water’s edge to forgive , to let
go and get closure.
Key concepts for this place.
Keeping the memory, removing the angst
Seeing the beauty in Life
This is the place to be, if you have arrived here then you have arrived
at your future . Its not an exotic holiday destination, no money in the
world can buy this place, neither is it an unattainable dream world,
this place is in your back yard, in a smile in a kind word.
This is not really a place as the others are its more a level of personal
To get here takes hard work, I cannot tell you what your future holds
for you but its all there behind those green hills, at the end of the
bridge along that path through the valley, this place is the other side of
the green hills, think of it as weekend away from day to day living that
takes place behind those hills, there you are sat under the tree
watching the sunrise.
This place in reality may be the exact same place you were living when
you were in the misty marsh or climbing your way step by step out of
your emptiness, the difference is now you can see beauty in the life
If you can feel the beauty , and I don’t mean to intellectually see
something could be seen as beautiful, I mean actually feel it, to be
actually touched by its beauty, then you have learned how not to be
And if you have learned how to not be unhappy, you live in the potential
to be happy at every opportunity life can give you.
Key concept for this place.
To have the ability to see and feel the beauty in life.
How to Use the Map as a Map.
As an example as to how to use the map I thought it would be
interesting to type into my search engine ‘the most asked question
ever’ and use whatever came up here, the first question that seemed
mildly usable was ‘what is the meaning of life?’
Hmmm I thought, if the map can tell us that then maybe I should up
the price a few euros!!
So I put some music on and sat looking at the map asking it to tell me
what the meaning of life is.
The map is about all the places in life we can find ourselves, the dark
places as well as the light places with all the shades of grey between, as
I looked at the map it became obvious that the meaning of life is that
you and me actually have one, a life that is.
In fact its the wrong question, the real question is does life have
meaning? For me looking at the map now, in some places on the map
one could really be forgiven for thinking ‘my life has no meaning’ but
those places are transitional, even if in real life you can see no way out
from those places the map shows there is a path away that finally leads
to the top left hand place, sitting under the tree marvelling at the
beauty of the sunrise. I guess another way to put it is that the meaning
of life is living life through the ups and the downs until you get to the
point where you can see the beauty in life, at which point the meaning
of life is irrelevant, just a silly question you have no need of asking.
This isn’t the best example of how the map was designed to be used but
it is what life gave me to work with as opposed to me picking a subject
that I may be biased towards. So how did the map tell me the answer I
have given? Very simply, within the question ‘what is the meaning of
life?’ my mind immediately jumped to the thought that it would only
be the influencer, possibly a harsh dictator who would act as if life had
no meaning (everyone else’s life that is). As we know the influencer is
only out to get what it can from us to sustain it and never tells the
truth, therefore the real truth must be in ‘normal life’, life itself has
value and meaning.
Coming to the conclusion life does have meaning how did the map
define that meaning?
The whole map is about carrying on living through life’s adversities to
achieve the potential of happiness from which I deduced the meaning
of life is simply just to live.
Then I pictured myself seeing and feeling the beauty of life and it just
seemed that having achieved that joy the question itself would be
As I said the above is not the best of examples so, though of course
biased towards the workings of the map, here is another example
which shows the strengths and the weakness of the Map.
Whether you are single, a parent, an adult or a child the next example
will be easy to understand.
Your child comes home from school, clothes torn, in tears and runs
straight to his or her room and locks the bedroom door. You stand
outside calling them until eventually they let you in, you eventually
find out they have been suffering for weeks at school being bullied
which has ended up with them being roughed up.
Probably your first reaction is one of anger, so if we take a look at the
place for anger on the map what do we see? Ooops there is no place for
anger on the map!!
Metaphorically and in reality there is no place for anger on the Map.
That is not to say you will not be angry in any of the places on the
map, what has to be understood is that to use the map one needs some
degree of rationality, and anger is not the best place to make the
rational decisions you need to make.
So a couple of hours later the shock has gone and you realise
something has to be done so you look at the map to see where your
child could be on the map to help them deal with this problem. Ooops
cant be done, the first rule of this type of map reading is it is only for
This highlights a problem in the way we live and a weakness in the
Map. I do not believe children would have any problem understanding
and using the Map, their problem is that they are more or less
completely powerless to change anything.
It would empower a child if the parent or significant other sat down
with the child and the map and really listened to the child when they
pointed out where they felt they were on the map and why . In this case
the parent or significant other would act as a facilitator to empower
the child’s decision making.
For any children or young adults reading this who feel in need for
some outside help at the bottom of this link is in alphabetical order
worldwide child lines, for example just click ‘U’ to take you to a
selection of UK child line help centres.
So to return to our example, to sum up, you know the map is only
about you, you know the situation is effecting you and your family and
you know you have to do something to sort out the situation.
You look at the Map and it dose not take long to realise the pain you
feel is being inflicted by the bully, the influencer. You may feel you are
in the marshland or you may feel you are about to be pushed down the
downward spiral stairs or maybe you feel you are at the bottom of the
stairs either way it becomes obvious that it is the influencer who has
Now in reality what we have here is a mass of complicated inter
relationships going on, there is the bully, why do they bully? Why did
they pick on your child? Will action make it worse? Will the
authorities help? Will the authorities themselves try to take you
through the marshlands? Does the bully need a stronger force to
control them as in punishing, if so what would that be?
If you think like this then your brain will probably explode and you
will be no use to anyone!!!!
Look at the map, for this example’s sake we will say you feel you are
just about to be pushed down the downward spiral.
When you hand your child to the school they have the responsibility to
take reasonable care of your child, you have to trust this is the case.
I’m afraid if the authorities knew how to deal with bullying there
wouldn’t be any bullying, as we know this is not the case.
So you look at the map, the influencer has all the power and you are
about to be pushed down the downward spiral, what do you do?
You have two choices, touch the influencer to destroy them, remember
the influencer is stuck in the worse place on the map looking out over a
swamp, maybe it would be possible to touch them (the opposite to
punishing), to touch their heart to destroy the influencer inside of the
them. The second choice is to get out of the boat and into the sticky
mud and with great effort step by step carry your child back to the
The boat represents the trust you put in the school authorities who
have let you down. Carrying your child back to the bridge would be
representative of putting your child in a better run school.
I am not suggesting you need the map to have made the decision to
change schools. I am not suggesting you invite the bully round for tea,
I am not suggesting changing schools would be easy or in fact even be
The real answer could only be found if it was a real situation you were
really in, only you would know the full facts and how you felt, and of
how it effected you.
What I am trying to show is that the map would have an answer to
Your problem solved would solve your child’s problem.
This example raises a question, am I suggesting running away is
always the answer? You may be asking are there not times one has to
just stay, stand up for ourselves, show a bit of back bone, show a bit of
strength, stop feeling sorry for ourselves and just get on with it?
Of course I am not saying running away is always the answer, but I am
saying its better to run towards a better future than it is to be stuck in
an unfulfilled past.
Admittedly standing up to the influencer from the beginning may have
solved a future problem but the Map is for all those times in your life
you just don’t have the necessary resources to do that.
Reading the map is simple, intuitive, bring your question to the map
honestly, locate your present place in whatever the problem you have,
once you know where you are then you can plan your way forward,
knowing where you are is the second rule of this type of map reading
(the first being it is only for you, it is not possible to read the map for
Honestly locating where you are is the key to success with the map,
and is the most difficult part of reading the map, if the truth is you
have got where you are through something you are not proud of it will
not help you to hide this from yourself, for example possibly you tried
but failed to exert your control over others which has left you feeling
no one likes you when in fact it is just that the others really don’t want
to be controlled.
Sometimes your problem will be because you were the influencer,
sometimes it will be guilt telling you that you were the influencer when
the real truth is you had no choice.
If you are honest with yourself (which is why you cannot read the map
for some one else) the map will help you make the next move.
After reading this you will have a ‘flavour’ of each place just relax and
look at the map, sometimes an answer will be automatic, other times
you may want a week or so to think about your situation on the map,
let your mind and heart ‘jam’ (as in jazz) with the map and see where
it takes you, you can’t really go wrong.
I wish you a wonderfully wholesome future.
The Map by Steve Dove is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.