Just. Just cheer up. Just get fit. Just deal with it. Just get it done. Just. Ugh. Help me understand why people feel this is a good problem solver. I understand, and definitely support, the notion of finding a positive amidst the tough times. A change in perspective is sometimes all you need to turn a situation around. I do think, however, that people often forget the importance of acknowledgment. I think sometimes, people need someone to simply acknowledge how hard a situation must be for them. This then lets that person know they are not crazy for being upset or struggling and can gather themselves to tackle and overcome it with a relieved mind.
When someone says “just” I feel it somehow belittles the problem. They offer forth a solution that, to them, is so simple and easy that, in turn, seems to poke at your inability to see it the same way. It’s like if you were attempting to walk a tightrope across a treacherous ravine with the winds whistling about your ears, your palms sweating, legs shaking and heart racing and some genius rocks up and says “just walk! you know how to walk, don’t you?” Whilst yes, tightrope walking does indeed require the same general one foot in front of the other technique as walking, the urge to tell that person to “go away”, in a less than polite manner, would be pretty strong for me.
There is, of course, another perspective to consider. When someone says “just…” perhaps their intention is to dissipate the stress, to help you dial-down the overwhelming feeling that the situation is out of your control. I mean I’d like to think that no one would go out of their way to belittle your problems for whatever reason. So perhaps we need to remind ourselves that even if it feels like that, they probably mean well.
So here’s an idea, a compromise if you will: if we see someone spiraling and getting overwhelmed with life, how about we do a bit of both. How about we take a moment to acknowledge their struggle and say “wow, I’m so sorry you’re going through that, must be really tough, is there anything I can do to help?” Then perhaps we can offer our “just” solutions, to help them handle it in bite-size pieces. Just an idea ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I am massively insecure. According to those fabulous brain-boxes who made books to help us understand words, that means that I am “unsafe or not fully assured, not free from fear or doubt,” all coming from the Medieval Latin word insecurus. Now to me the word insecurus sounds like some awesome magic spell. Sigh, if only it were. If only I just had to wave a glorified twig and yell “insecurus!” at the top of my lungs in my best homeland accent and I would magically believe in myself in every way. If only. Now before we cue up some tragic violin music to accompany this thought, let me finish. I only share this with you, because I know I am not the only one who feels like this. I know that many, if not all, of you sat there reading this are quietly nodding your head wishing for that same magical spell for one reason or another. And you know what, that’s ok.
As far as I see it, insecurities are a bit like untied shoelaces. Here we are, happily trudging along the road of life. Ahead in the distance is something new. Something we haven’t experienced before. We take a few more steps towards it and BAM! we fall. Those damn shoelaces; those damn insecurities trip us up. “What if something bad happens? What if I fail? What will people think?….” For many, including me, the internal monologue can be endless and deafening and can bring us to our knees. But somehow we get back up, we take a few more steps and maybe we get there, maybe we trip again. My question is, why do we not just tie the shoelaces? Why is it so hard for us to face and deal with our insecurities? Do we gain something by feeding into them? Or is it easier to stay stuck with them because they are familiar, than to face the uncertainty of how to deal with them?
I am very much about perspective. Sometimes I think we just need to look at something differently to understand it better. So what if, the untied shoe laces/the insecurities are just supposed to serve as a little awareness jolt, but we are misinterpreting them. It’s not supposed to be a permanent problem but just a “hey, just making sure you are ok, making good choices and by the way you’ve totally got this and even if it doesn’t work out, you’ll get through it” moment. Making us take that moment to remind ourselves what we are capable of, not what we are lacking. Who knows. Might be true, might not. But for now, next time that little voice starts in my head I think I am going mentally try to take my pseudo-magical-twig, yell “insecurus!” and imagine my shoelaces being tied in award-winning-style! I suggest you try the same. And maybe, just maybe, they will stay tied for us all. Good day to you, lovely people.
Let’s talk about smiling. If you haven’t come across the wonderful Jay Shetty yet, stop what you’re doing and go check him out. Right now. Go. Click on his name, seriously. I’ll be here. Just make sure you come back. Ok, so now you get my point. Amazing guy, right? Simple wisdom on life and all its facets. So, he recently posted about the power of smiling. The scientific effect of smiling, no less. About how it can affect your whole being. I can’t quite decide if I 100% agree but I do still love the idea. Now, believe me, I am definitely a smiler. I will smile at anyone I make eye contact with, no question. I am a firm believer of smiling at everyone because you just never know who might need it most. Sometimes a smile, that momentary expression of kindness and connection, is all someone needs to turn their day around. With that being said, what I question is if it is ok to mask your emotions with a smile when they are less than happy?
Well, with the mindset of smiling having the ability to affect your whole being physically and mentally, I suppose it could be said that even a fake smile may positively affect at whatever it is hiding. I can personally attest to what it feels like pretending to be happy all the time but feeling like your falling apart inside. For me, I don’t like affecting other people’s days with whatever I am going through. So I smile regardless. And now that I think about it more often than not, having someone smile back at me, when I am feeling low, often inadvertently lifts my spirits. So maybe it’s like the one candle and a thousand mirrors. That one candle may only have it’s one flame giving off a little light, but when it is reflected a thousand times, it can light up the room. Hm. Curious. I guess Mr. Shetty must be right. So smile on, people, for the good of us all.
Right then, here we are. This seemed a good idea, in my head. “Psh, just start a blog, it’ll be fun,” I said to myself. And why not. I have eternally been known, by my nearest and dearest, for having an analogy for pretty much everything in life. It has always helped me make sense of the situations that I don’t understand. Or when I am trying to explain something to someone else, it just helps create that missing connection, I guess. So hey, if it helps me, it can help others too. It’s like how good it feels when you just sit down with a friend and just talk through stuff. That’s what I want this to be like. Because let’s face it, life is an amazing ride – no doubt about it – but geez it can be a tough ride too. And I think it is often in those tougher moments that we sometimes need another way of looking at things to either ease our emotions or to bring a bit of clarity to an otherwise overwhelming situation. And I think analogies have a way of creating a emotional disconnect from the moment, enabling us to take a much-needed step back and look at the whole picture.
So let’s see how this journey goes. Hopefully between us we shall see things a little clearer. Nothing dramatic, nothing earth shattering, just a little clarity when needed. Because sure you can drive with a dirty windscreen, with smears, dirt and long departed buggy carcasses adorning your view, we all do it….But isn’t it a far more pleasurable ride when you flick that magic stick or button by your driving wheel, inadvertently spray the people in the car behind you and bring some crystal clear clarity to your road ahead? Yeah, you know it’s true. So ’till next time, Sunshine.
Let’s get this started, shall we? Together, may we explore many ponderings and emotions to make them all a little more manageable and less scary.
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter — Izaak Walton