Now then - the clue to the topic I want to think about here is in the picture. Crutches. We all have them, we all use them and unless any thought is given to them I suspect they remain largely in our subconscious.

In this context they have been defined, in an online dictionary, as "anything that serves as a temporary and often inappropriate support, supplement, or substitute; prop: He uses liquor as a psychological crutch".

This statement, I think is worth looking into a little. The first thing that strikes me is the word 'temporary'. Crutches are commonly first developed to act as a psychological coping mechanism or substitute, and to this end they are continually refined and modified but unless the psychological situation is resolved then they have a tendency to last. And given that the condition under which it is made manifest is usually hidden or subconscious then unless the psychological situation is worked through and resolved the crutch tends to stick. And in my experience few people tend to venture into this field of self-exploration. Especially as crutches tend to be developed in areas of ones life that are usually born out of stress and disruption, and would rather not be revisited.

Crutches do provide a system of support, and do 'serve' us. It is my belief that they are born out of a need to provide something for us that we believe is lacking. And in that sense they are always inappropriate as they are used to fill a gap in a part of us that we believe is missing or undeveloped. This however does not make them unimportant or non-essential. They are often developed out of desperation, as a last resort, and as such are often believed to be key to the mental and psychological survival of the individual.

What really interests me is the conception and development of crutches and the role the subconscious has to play it its birth and development. After all, I believe that we do not consciously decide that we need a crutch and go on to decide what form it will take. Some part of us, some part of our being, decides a form of support is necessary to continue functioning in society. What part of us 'decides' this? A part that surely has some kind of awareness of social equilibrium, or a natural state of being.

Crutches, I am guessing, can either be very obvious or very secret, very unusual or very common place. Contemplating what form a crutch may take, how it serves its purpose, what it is replacing or supporting and what life would be like if it was not needed could be a valuable undertaking.

Possible crutches may include: smoking, drinking, religion, violence, drugs, sex, movies, work, exercise, thinking patterns, behavioral patterns; anything that stops us from ultimately seeing/being who we really are...

Why would we not want that?