Sunday, October 30, 2011

Why it's important to wear nice shoes.

Head over Heels - When life threatens to crush you.

Sometimes, life starts pushing at you in various forms. Your job, your family, your friends - each piece eventually melds together to become one blinding force that you feel is going to overwhelm you.

As a protective mechanism (and maybe a reflex, the older you get) you push away all the things that frighten you or make you uncomfortable. In your inner sphere, your goal is to include only those things or people that act as a balm to you. The rest you will willfully ignore because it’s a threat to you.

But ignoring only leads to a time bomb. The blinding force is still there, albeit unseen, and one day, when you least expect it, it can fall out of the sky and crush you.

  • Maybe it’s your boss, who demands too much from you and can’t stop to appreciate what you have done and instead focuses only on what you haven’t. Your In-Box and your flagged items become a slimy, one-eyed monster that you can’t escape, but which you cannot kill. Yet. Push.
  • What if a small paycheck (or none at all) have left you in a state of fear and speechlessness? Push.
  • There might be a new person in your life who gives you all sorts of great feelings, but in a heartbeat can erase all the good and drag you into a vicious negative thought cycle. Maybe said person makes you question if you shouldn’t keep looking, since you’re afraid they already have. Push.
  • What about that pile of books on your desk that you haven’t made a dent in? You might keep promising to make a little time everyday and get through the books. The stressor could be that you keep breaking these promises and revile yourself even further because of it. The books, you understand, are not the issue, but your own failed attempts to ever make progress, with anything. Push.
  • Maybe it’s the scale in the hallway, which refuses to recognize the pounds you’re determined to lose and insists on showing you the wrong weight. Every day. Push.
  • Maybe it’s your quest to quell the emotional roller coaster that brings you up and brings you crashing down. The search for the right prescription, the right supplement, the one thing that could fix you, but is just out of your reach because the universe likes to laugh at you. Push.
  • I know sometimes I worry about my grandmother. I want to make enough money so that I can buy her everything she needs to live comfortably and stop working. At 70 years old, she is still working. This is a good thing - working after retirement staves off mental decay like Alzheimer's. But I wish I could make enough so that she only had to work for fun, not because she's worried about making her house payments. I’m afraid I will never make enough in time to help her. Push.

Sometimes, life pushes. And we have to push back. Even if it’s awful and it’s overwhelming and it’s difficult and we hate it. We have to push because quite frankly, there is no other choice. But when life threatens to crush you, take some time out and protect yourself. Sometimes, a weekend by yourself or a veg in front of the couch is good for you. Write, read, cook, cry. This may not be enough, so find what works for you. Find a support group. And yes, sometimes you have to admit that you need support.

When I get overwhelmed and I feel like I’m about to be pushed head over heels on my face I try to remember that there are so many people in the world suffering, starving, dying. I know that I can’t fix that either, but it gives me perspective. And you can push back little by little to regain your footing. Baby steps.

Sometimes, I go shopping. And the comfort I get in that is knowing that I may be head over heels and overwhelmed, but I’ve got on a great pair of fuckin’ shoes. And it’s a bit easier to push back.

Maybe it's a great pair of shoes or a favorite movie. Share your push-back methods.

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