The Teddy Bear Effect

Teddy Bear’s are great, and I imagine they can become any parent’s best friend. They turn tears of sadness into calmness in almost the blink of an eye. The amazing thing is that such a powerful creature is relatively cheap to purchase and almost anyone can obtain one.

The simple question then is ‘why do we stop using teddy bears as we get older?‘. The answer to this question is as simple as the question itself; because at some point in time we see past the illusion and realise that the teddy bear doesn’t have any innate superpowers, in fact the teddy bear is blissfully unaware of my existence.

Adult Teddy Bears

Children are really innocent and naive when you think about it. They think that external objects have the power to affect their feelings, when as adults we know that their feelings really only ever come from themselves. As an adult it is easy for me to feel immune to this naivety and innocence as I think to myself that I have matured beyond this, and to a certain extent I have. It is true that I no longer believe that fairy tales are grounded in real life events or that I need a teddy bear to get me through the day. What remains are simply metaphors that serve as reference points to guide me out of wonderland and back into reality.

Looking at these facts it is all too easy for my archaic mind to overlook the toys I have replaced my old teddy bear with. A new fancy car, a successful business or a jet setter lifestyle are very real things that can affect my mood and sense of self-worth and self-confidence. Unlike a child’s teddy bear these are very real things that I can acquire in the ‘real world’ and I am a helpless victim when I am without these objects of perceived status.

The Transition Teddy Bear

A transitional object is a psychological term I learned recently, that is used to describe an object that makes a transition easier e.g. giving a child a teddy bear to help with the transition to sleeping in the dark. As you may have guessed I am no different to the child wanting his teddy bear, this much I know to be true. I find it difficult to consistently see that my feelings of self-confidence and self-worth have nothing to do with my job, my car, my career or my family. In certain situations it really appears to me that this time I have found an exception, but thankfully reflection never proves to be so naive. Faced with this predicament I now find myself gravitating to the concept of transitional objects. I can accept the fact that I can’t always see where my feelings are coming from moment to moment and with this acceptance I can focus on what I can choose; that being ‘transitional teddy bears’ that gradually help narrow the gap and bring me more in alignment with my personal goals and aspirations.

Can you think of the teddy bears in your life? Would you like to have a clearer head? If you have any insights, questions or recommendations feel free to leave a comment.

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