Words To Live By
Years of a life lived have led me to adopt these three simple mottos:
If you feed me, I will come (remember the movie Field of Dreams?)
Two things can be true at the same time
Sometimes, life just sucks
1. If you feed me, I will come
This one’s fairly self-explanatory. As a person who instinctively shies away from hanging out with groups of people larger than one (maybe two if I know you really well), I appreciate the presence of food. In the first place, it's an activity that engages one’s mouth and whilst so engaged, precludes the necessity of speaking. I mean, remember your mom’s words, “Never talk with your mouth full.” I’ve taken that to heart so, beyond the fact that I am practicing proper etiquette, it cuts down considerably on the amount of time needed to engage in the back and forth of conversation. And/or all the chewing with my mouth closed gives my slow-processing brain a chance to catch up and, if I’m lucky, come up with a coherent and articulate nugget of wit or wisdom. Or, both. I can dream!
Secondly, food is comfort. Whoever made that a bad thing should be vilified and confined to celery-eating. Comfort food. Say it out loud. Say it slowly; take your time. Savour the way it makes you feel. Add an mmmm, as in, “Mmmmm, comfort food.” Can you feel the warmth of it filling your belly and running through your limbs? Is it bringing to mind visions of grilled cheese sandwiches and Campbell’s Chicken Noodle soup? Veggie samosas? Chocolate cake? Have you noticed that your stress level has dropped just thinking about comfort food? And that your brain has suddenly slowed down and become present in the moment? Because what is comfort if not a way to soothe our anxieties and fears?
So, if food is what helps me stay within my comfort zone when I am actually outside my comfort zone then, yes, I will come if you feed me.
2. Two things can be true at the same time
Over the years, I have been blessed with many wise women. Their nuggets of truth, generously and freely imparted, have both bent my mind and opened my heart. One such tidbit is the understanding that, yes, two (or more) things can be true at the same time.
The first time I heard this was many years ago when I was in a relationship quandary. I complained to my therapist, “I love him but I can’t stand being with him” (who hasn’t said that at least once in their life?). She asked me to restate the sentence as two as in, “I love him. I can’t stand being with him.” And, voila, I went from stuck to choice. I expressed two truths which were operating at the same time yet independently of each other. I was now in a position to examine each truth on its own which inevitably helped me make a decision later on.
And, if that weren’t enough ah-ha for one session, this wise woman followed up with, “Just because you love him, doesn’t mean you have to be with him.” What?? Mind bent.
3. Sometimes, life just sucks
Honestly, this one is my favourite and I use it often both in my practice and in my own life. You know those times when it feels like the world is out to get you? Nothing is going right, you feel and look like crap, you can barely get out of bed or off the couch, your significant other is mad at you, your cat has diarrhea, and you had to spend all your hard-earned savings on a new (insert functional object here like a vacuum cleaner, and not the weekend get-away you were planning).
When you are drowning in life’s mega-waves, hunch your shoulders, let out a deep breath, and say (out loud works best), “Man, sometimes life just sucks.” Because it does. Because life totally sucks, sometimes. And that’s okay. It’s supposed to. We can’t have it all together all the time. That’s called flat lining and well, it basically means you’re dead or really, really bored.
Another super-wise woman I know had this to say about those life-sucking phases. Bundle up all the stuff you can’t handle right now, all the stuff that feels overwhelming and impossible to clear, and hand it off to the Universe for safe keeping. The Universe has big shoulders and a very open heart. It will gladly hold your sh*t for you while you regroup (unlike your boyfriend who steadfastly refuses to hold your purse while you tie your shoe). You and the Universe are like this, tight, and there’s nothing it won’t do to help you. When you’re ready, just ask for it back – one thing at a time or all of it. You still have to pay your phone bill and make amends to your partner - it’s your work to do. But the Universe can help you get some breathing room.
Says the Universe all time, “I got you.”