Snap Out Of It!

Snap out of it.

Ronny: I love you.
Loretta[slaps him twice] Snap out of it!

Moonstruck (1987)

Ah, if only it were that easy.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could be awoken from our lifelong reveries with a couple of quick slaps to the face and a command to wake up? I wonder how many of us would willingly stand in front of someone to experience this. I imagine stories  written and movies made about the lengths human beings would go to in order to avoid it. Some would be comic, but many tragic. I write this in the hope that someone reading might find it helpful and avoid their own tragicomedy, comedy, or tragedy.

My therapy session on Friday was one of the more effective hours I have spent talking to someone about my feelings. I stayed on topic talking about a variety of experiences, relationships, and feelings. Neither did I go off on tangents, need to get reeled in, nor leave feeling in as much emotional pain as when I went in. Even with good therapy, that happens sometimes.

Returning home, I continued reading and writing from chapters in the book by Charlotte Kasl called If The Buddha Got Stuck. In the Step III – Pay Attention exercises, I wrote about my core limiting beliefs, behaviors that reflect those beliefs, and the personal costs of these behaviors.  What I wrote about is not new to me. However, the process of writing them down again helped move me from an intensely painful internal realm into an analytical and objective realm. I saw more objectively how I get in my own way and, more importantly, how I could get out.

Just like that, I was out of my head. I was present in a way that I had not felt for some time, at minimum during the last couple of weeks. My mind was clear, thinking was easier, and I was more in touch with my feelings.

I was finally able to tell my husband that I’d been needing a getaway for some time, but had felt unable to share it with him. Guilt over wanting to spend money crushed me. I couldn’t speak it. But now, out from under the shame and guilt, I spoke. I also requested that we spend Saturday exploring in New York together. We journeyed to Governor’s Island via Brooklyn, and had dinner on Atlantic Avenue. On Sunday, I restrung a bracelet, started on a new necklace, unwound a too-short Kumihimo bracelet, and ordered a few needed supplies.

Today, I kept time wasting down, made the bed, fixed lunch and washed the dishes, washed a litter box, and then prepped to come outside to read more from the Buddha book, to write in my journal, and to write my blog post.

Whew! Talk about a productive three days.

This level of productivity occurred because the energy I had been using to ignore how badly I felt was released. Immediately, the things I had been wanting to do came up, and I did them, without any further thinking.

My therapist said that, when I catch my thinking going down a familiar, negative path, I can try to be aware of it happening in order that I may choose another path. I’ve done this acknowledging and choosing before, so I know that it will happen again. Unfortunately, I can’t always keep the best lessons I have learned in mind. I forget them, and, in doing so, have to learn them all over again. One of these days, I hope that they stick.



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