It saddens me that with all the trauma happening in the world people remain so critical of each other. Yes, I realize that even the act of typing that sentence I too am being critical. There is a massive flood happening in Houston Texas right now and there is a lot of heroism taking place and yet we still find reason to attack one another. I am not interested what shoes the presidents wife chose to wear but I am fascinated by the survival mechanisms that fire ants employee in flood conditions. I cant help but wonder what it would be like if instead of looking for someone to lash out at we looked within and acknowledged our own fears and insecurity.
We had a major freak out moment in Texas yesterday and got caught up in feelings of lack. Gas stations were running out of gas across the state because many of us panicked before getting all of the information available. Instead of acknowledging that we got caught up in our fear based thinking many chose instead to place the blame on the media. Ok, The media reported what was being reported to them and yes they own some responsibility in what they chose to put out there; however, we do own some responsibility in what we choose to to with the information presented to us.
It seems to be human nature to look for a scapegoat and blame them for all our ills. What does scapegoating do for us; does it truly make us feel better or does it keep us stuck? What if instead of being critical of each other we acknowledge that the person we are judging is struggling the same as we are maybe it looks different, but we are all struggling in our own way. What if instead of being critical of each other we met each other with love and compassion? Would it really take away from us to acknowledge the humanity in the person before us or would it strengthen us instead? Acknowledging your struggles doesn’t take away my struggles or make them any less real but perhaps if just for a moment I feel less alone.
We are in this together, like those fire ants forming a floating island by banding together to save the colony. I salute all the brave humans banding together this time of crisis for the greater good of all.
I heard my son-in-law exclaiming from the other room “I am so disappointed”. Naturally I was curious about just what had him so upset. Well it seems that Jarvis the families beloved Basset Hound puppy had left the gift of poop on the living room floor and kids being kids instead of cleaning the mess the kids chose to ignore the poop on the floor and went about their business. Lets be honest… Who wants to be the one that has to pick up the poop…I mean please isn’t that what the adults are for? Tim went on to say to the children” When you see something that needs to be done just do it; don’t wait to be told”. Inwardly I both cringed and smiled as I cant even begin to tell you how many times I heard that line as a child ( and hated it). I also recall saying it to my own children while they were growing up. In fact the sentiment keeps getting repeated well into adulthood and across all domains of our lives. Lets face it poop just assumes different forms depending on the environment and context in which it lands.
Why did the topic of poop inspire a blog you might ask? As a Mental Health Counselor on a daily basis I help others sort through their mental and emotional stumbling blocks and help them to discard the metaphorical “poop”. We could all benefit from asking ourselves one simple question. Where did Jarvis hide the poop. If we sought it out instead of pretending its not there on the floor stinking up the place , we might be happier.
So how do we clean up the mess and move on?
- Acknowledge the poop.
- Ask yourself ” what does this poop represent to me”.
- How does this make me feel?
- What do I need to clean this mess up?
- What is my game plan?
- Put your plan in motion.
- Stick with it, dont quit, get help if necessary.
- If something isnt working try something else.
- Ask yourself ” what is this teaching me?” we often are in such a rush to get the discomfort behind us that we forget the lesson.
- Task completion…Yay you did it. Acknowledge your accomplishment. reward yourself for a job well done.
Ok, Poop on the floor is an odd inspiration for my first blog I agree but our muses speak to us in funny ways sometimes. That being said I have found that my favorite metaphorical pooper scooper is a journal. It helps to get all our thoughts out of our heads and onto paper which allows us to sort out what needs to be flushed. So get some paper and a pen and do the exercise.