Albatross Metaphor and Paradox

Patricia Frank

Saying, thinking, believing or being told that you have an albatross around your neck implies that you have a psychological burden. It suggests that something is an encumbrance that drags you down and hampers and impedes your progress in life. It is a hindrance that becomes a handicap and prevents you from accomplishing your goals and living a happy, carefree life. An albatross is a burden that you carry.

What is your albatross? What is the main burden that you are carrying? What is the albatross around your neck? Is it a medical condition or an addiction? Is it a child or parent that is ill? Is it an unappreciative spouse? Is it a financial situation? Is it a boss or co-worker that undermines you?

The albatross is a paradox because sailors often regard an albatross, which is a sea bird, as good luck and a good omen. That is the paradox. This contradiction offers hope for all those who are burdened. Burdens are not meant to be carried forever. You can and you should try to free yourself from your albatross.

Don’t expect the albatross to go away by itself. You have to be the one who sets yourself and the bird free. You have to turn things around in your own mind. You have to change the way you think about your situation. You have to accept the fact that it exists and decide that you will treat it differently from now on. View the albatross as a challenge that you can overcome. Be determined to eliminate the heavy load. Be creative. Think of ways to work around it so it will not be such a strain on you. You may not be able to get rid of it but you can accept it and not feel its weight if you change the way you handle it. Visualize the change you desire. Visualize yourself without the burden. Investigate the options that are available to you. Ask for help.

is a Licensed Psychotherapist. She can be reached at 305-788-4864

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