Standing at a cash register the other day I asked the shopkeeper how earnest the meter people were on Saturdays. She had no definitive answer and basically said it was a crap shoot. I then mused out loud that it would be prudent for me to walk back to my car and move it to a new spot if my tire had been marked. The shop keep heaved a ginormous sigh and said “I hate that kind of thing, it’s so difficult.” I blinked at her thinking wasn’t I the one moving the car? I shrugged and replied “No a mammogram might be difficult moving my car is easy.” A woman behind me in line burst out laughing and I knew I had used the outside my head voice. Ugh… The shopkeeper shrugged and smiled looking chagrinned I am sure she was just being empathetic to my plight. The point, and not the one on my diminutive head, is there was no plight or difficulty. When did our measurement for woe become so small and odd?
The reality is a mammogram isn’t difficult either, it is a pain true but undiagnosed cancer falls under the difficult category. There is the line between inconvenient and difficult; I would hope there is a large gap between them. Walking back to my car I thought about my heritage the throngs of the great unwashed crossing deserts, prairies and seas. Those were lives that were difficult, arduous with not one decent pizza delivery option. As a side note here I am sure the reviews on Mannford’s Mutton House were written by his cousin Ezekiel because deep dish mutton mania is just so wrong… but I digress. I think somewhere our calibration got skewed; we need feedback in a system for it to right itself, even if we are that system. As examples we see how this works in the outside world with electrical or mechanical devices but it is also true of our bodies, minds and spirits. Feedback keeps most things true, and within what we deem an acceptable range of function. Which means out of a clock tower with a high power rifle or clutching a handful of maxed out credit cards on the afternoon Black Friday.
The reality for me is a tough day at work is self-induced. We stress ourselves out or those around us try to do it by whipping us into a dogma fueled frenzy about what “should” be happening. This is true for most of us unless you are a doctor or someone who’s bad day results in damage to or loss of life, the rest of us have been sucked down the vortex of drama. I am not saying we should not have integrity about what we do or say, but rather making that integrity count in real context, not hype. In a context that might provide a true setting for feedback which is beneficial to our well-being. As an example years ago I worked in high-tech at a great company for a perfectly awful man. He would talk about how to denigrate other groups who performed similar functions during layoffs and how to smear co-workers reputations during out staff meetings. It was a profitable yet very toxic existence for me. During this period was the first time I had a panic attack, it happened at my desk. Thinking it was a heart attack I decided I would go out to my truck and have it there because that was less embarrassing. Now we are talking cuckoo cocoa puffs bad logic here, the feedback my body was telling me was true. My body was saying this job is hurting you. On the other end of the spectrum was the work/picture of success environment I was using for my measuring stick, which was telling me to walk it off and don’t make a fuss. Crazy is as crazy does…
So there is the dichotomy I had created for myself. In my younger days I would have bought into the notion that moving an automobile was difficult verses my perceived heart/panic attack was an inconvenience. How can you get more skewed than that? It is hard to know what is worth our attention sometimes when our lives are so busy, but we hold the key to that schedule and the quality of our days. Using the feedback our bodies are giving us is the first step of coming into alignment where who we are and what we do match. Our core values are mirrored in how we move through our lives, how we treat ourselves and each other when nobody is watching. Essentially if you don’t like what is going on in your life on the outside it is time to look within. We are the root of our own evil, grace and ignorance and not looking at something doesn’t make it go away it just gets bigger. I spent a lot of time on that ride home thinking about which yard stick was I using for my self-worth, relationships, my work as well as lots of other beliefs that turned out to be very small, odd things that needed to be re-parked in the trash.
Nicely done. Especially love the logic of you going to your truck to have your heart attack–like your body would have waited for you to get there–but, good thinking, not only less embarrassing, but if you were in the passenger seat it would have been less messy too, when someone needed to drive you to the emergency room… this is why you are my favorite cuckoo cocoa puff. xom
Love this piece, this is why you are my favorite cuckoo cocoa puff.