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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

King of My Castle

 

I find interesting the number of people who fantasize about belonging to a monarchal system of governance, referring to themselves as “kings” or “queens.” Aside from the overt narcissistic trait of self-focus and tyrannical ambition regarding lust for power, I wonder if these individuals understand the burden of a crown. Addressing this matter, one source states:

 

The Shakespeare quote ‘uneasy is the head that wears a crown’ is from Henry IV Part 2 [and] is often now phrased as ‘heavy is the head the wears the crown’. The phrase has become an English idiom meaning that those charged with major responsibility carry a heavy burden that makes it difficult for them to relax.

 

I imagine that in medieval times royalty had its privileges, though also carried a phenomenal responsibility of fueling an empire. Determining who would live or die, obligating that peasants pay taxes or else suffer cruel punishment, or monitoring one’s own family members for potential sabotage doesn’t sound enticing to me.

 

Even in modernity, as arguably most kingdoms are influenced by democratic rule, I suspect there’s a heavy burden associated with not fully remaining in control of one’s own life. Even though kings and queens appear to be free to make their own decisions, their edicts are heavily influenced by what those within their kingdom will allow.

 

When thinking of this matter I’m reminded of an electronic dance music (EDM) song I once included on a mix when DJing. Released under the moniker Wamdue Project, and featuring the vocals of Gaelle Adisson, was the 1997 song “King of My Castle.” Lyrics include:

 

Must be the reason why I’m king of my castle

Must be the reason why I’m free in my trapped soul

Must be the reason why I’m king of my castle

Must be a reason why I’m making examples of you

 

Describing meaning behind the lyrics, one source states:

 

The song’s title and lyrics reference Sigmund Freud’s theory of the unconscious which holds that the human ego is not free and is instead controlled by its own unconscious id—in Freud’s own words, “das Ich ist nicht Herr im eigenen Hause” (“the ego is not king of its own castle”). Hence, one of the song’s two music videos consists of footage from the 1995 anime film Ghost in the Shell, where people with cyborg implants have their actions controlled against their will by a hacker criminal known in the film as “puppetmaster”.

 

In a way, the monarchy is a puppet of its citizenry, though its puppet master relates to responsibility and accountability – or obligations and consequences – of governance. This invaluable lesson of leadership is one I learned as a Marine non-commissioned officer (NCO).

 

Sometimes, one must make difficult and unpopular decisions which in some cases may determine life or death for one’s peers. Uneasy is the head that wears and NCO’s cover (hat).

 

In any case, when thinking of “King of My Castle,” I filter the lyrics through the sifter of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). For instance, when hearing that there “must be a reason […],” I’m aware of demandingness which tends to manifest in the form of should, must, and ought-type narratives.

 

Suppose there’s no justification for one’s entrapment within a complex system of the mind, would a king be able to tolerate and accept what simply is? Why must there be a reason for the manner in which one’s mind functions?

 

Considering REBT, I can’t necessarily explain why the mind works as it does, though I can describe how it functions. Imagine a king of one’s caste being free in a trapped soul (consciousness). How does one become captured in such a manner?

 

REBT theory uses the ABC model to illustrate how when Activating events (“Actions”) occur and people maintain irrational Beliefs about the events, these unhelpful assumptions – and not the actual occurrences – are what create unpleasant cognitive, emotive, bodily sensation, and behavioral Consequences.

 

In particular, there are four predominate irrational beliefs which people use: demandingness, awfulizing, low frustration tolerance, and global evaluations. Addressing these, the ABC model incorporates Disputation of unhelpful assumptions in order to explore Effective new beliefs.

 

Therefore, one who is freely trapped in a castle of the mind is an individual heavily influenced by self-disturbing beliefs. In this way, the monarch is a puppet to unproductive assumptions and acting as a puppet master, which is an experience that creates unpleasant consequences.

 

Considering this proposal, I think of the last referenced line in “King of My Caste,” as Adisson sings, “Must be a reason why I’m making examples of you.” When using irrational beliefs, we become examples of unhealthy leadership – giving irrationality dominion over our internal kingdom, of sorts.

 

Of course, there’s a way to overthrow the corrupting influence of tyranny regarding one’s unhealthy negative emotions. In this way, I counsel proverbial kings and kings so that they may reestablish healthy rule over their kingdoms. If you’d like to know more, I look forward to hearing from you.

 

If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.

 

As the world’s original EDM-influenced REBT psychotherapist—promoting content related to EDM, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters. 

 

At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!

 

 

Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW


 

References:

Hollings, D. (2022, October 31). Demandingness. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/demandingness

Hollings, D. (2022, March 15). Disclaimer. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/disclaimer

Hollings, D. (2023, September 8). Fair use. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/fair-use

Hollings, D. (2024, April 2). Four major irrational beliefs. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/four-major-irrational-beliefs

Hollings, D. (2023, October 12). Get better. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/get-better

Hollings, D. (2023, September 13). Global evaluations. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/global-evaluations

Hollings, D. (n.d.). Hollings Therapy, LLC [Official website]. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/

Hollings, D. (2023, May 18). Irrational beliefs. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/irrational-beliefs

Hollings, D. (2023, September 19). Life coaching. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/life-coaching

Hollings, D. (2022, December 2). Low frustration tolerance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/low-frustration-tolerance

Hollings, D. (2024, April 22). On disputing. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/on-disputing

Hollings, D. (2022, November 7). Personal ownership. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/personal-ownership

Hollings, D. (2022, March 24). Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/rational-emotive-behavior-therapy-rebt

Hollings, D. (2022, November 1). Self-disturbance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/self-disturbance

Hollings, D. (2024, April 21). Sensation. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/sensation

Hollings, D. (2022, October 7). Should, must, and ought. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/should-must-and-ought

Hollings, D. (2022, November 9). The ABC model. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/the-abc-model

Hollings, D. (2022, December 14). The is-ought problem. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/the-is-ought-problem

Hollings, D. (2023, February 16). Tna. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/tna

Hollings, D. (2022, November 15). To don a hat. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/to-don-a-hat

Hollings, D. (2024, March 18). Unhealthy vs. healthy negative emotions. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/unhealthy-vs-healthy-negative-emotions

Hollings, D. (2022, August 8). Was Freud right? Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/was-freud-right

Hollings, D. (2024, April 10). Welcome to complex systems. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/welcome-to-complex-systems

No Sweat Shakespeare. (n.d.). ‘Heavy is the head that wears the crown’, meaning. NoSweat Digital Ltd. Retrieved from https://nosweatshakespeare.com/quotes/famous/heavy-is-the-head-that-wears-the-crown/

Pete. (2024, April 4). Sad king [Image]. Playground. Retrieved from https://playground.com/post/sad-king--clutbtpt00218s6011322i86c

Strictly Rhythm. (2007, June 25). Wamdue Project - King of My Castle (Official HD video) [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/DXSyQjppqG0?si=RKYIeWkqEaxRT91r

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Chris Brann. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Brann

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Wikipedia. (n.d.). Ghost in the Shell (1995 film). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghost_in_the_Shell_(1995_film)

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Henry IV, Part 2. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_IV_Part_2

Wikipedia. (n.d.). King of My Castle. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_of_My_Castle

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Wikipedia. (n.d.). William Shakespeare. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Shakespeare

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