Life can feel as though you’re taking a drive from New Jersey to Florida in a 2005 Toyota Corolla, stuck in the back seat with your siblings just hoping that they stop singing to some Taylor Swift song as the air conditioning is on full blast and your seatbelt is strangling your neck. You then get knocked in the head, a drink falls to the floor staining the comfy jeans you are wearing as your face begins to turn red. You just want to scream.
You look at your parents for help but they are in their own world. They have never cared in the past. Besides, they are having their own conversation. You’re stuck, wanting the moment to change and it can’t. You have one of two choices – go along with the situation or explode.
Do you have any other options?!
You quickly do a pros and cons list in your head, you ask yourself “what if”, you want to call a friend but then you’d have to ask everyone to lower the music and they then have to listen to your conversation. You try to go online with your smartphone. You text, that’s only temporary. You try to distract yourself but you just can’t find a way around it. You’re trapped.
What would you do in this situation?
Some would just accept the scenario and go with the flow. Others may scream. Nonetheless a compromise has to be made, humility may be required, and any action will have a consequence. After all, you learned in school for every actions there is an equal and opposite reaction… The result scares the heck out of you and you don’t know what to do.
In fact, the more you think about it, many circumstances in life feel this way and you often find yourself…
This is how someone with an eating disorder feels. There’s no way around it, our lives are filled with events and emotions. If we don’t allow them to flow, we find ways to shut down or be out of control.
I can see how the above example can be good reason to shut down. I would be filled with resentment, anger, frustration, sadness. What we do with it is of importance. Whether we like it or not, a reaction happens. In fact, if you try to do nothing – inaction – is a reaction! More importantly,what the reaction is determines how the experience will flow with the people involved.
This is what the therapeutic process is all about. First you find a way to become aware of your life. Second you get a chance to talk about your needs. Third, you work at making it happen!
I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t like piecing their life together in search of strength and understanding. To have the space to open up and be respected is rare. If I had the opportunity to speak about the above scenario, personally, I’d be pissed off and defiant. I’d be a person who yells. I’m not saying that’s the right choice in the situation, but I know I’ve done it in the past.
How about you?