One of my best coping strategies is sticking my head in the sand.
“La! La! La! La! I can’t hear you!” I yell at myself, eyes squeezed tightly shut, fingers jammed into my own ears like a three-year-old. When my bestie asks if I have dealt with <current crisis> I respond with “Shhhhhhhh. There is no <crisis>… What crisis?”
She nods and plays along.
Aaaannnnnnnnnnnddd … I have taught my son my special talent. So his head is stuck in the sand as well. What problem? We have a problem?
Everyone has a chapter that they don’t read out loud. We all feel shame. We’ve all done (or not done) things that we are ashamed of. There is self-deception … and then there is SELF-DECEPTION. What might have started off innocently as self-preservation became your little white lie, and snowballed into a giant avalanche of oh-shits. We avoid, ignore, deny, blow smoke screens and pretend that the monster doesn’t exist. What we can’t see, can’t hurt us. It’s like my dog hiding her face under a chair. Since she can’t see me, she thinks I can’t see her.
If you think I am weak, then walk a couple of years in my shoes. I prefer to think of myself as vulnerable, especially while shedding one coat for another. I dealt with life in the best way I knew how at the time. Does that make me wrong? And when is that sentence over?
We all believe our situation is unique. It’s somehow worse. We are less capable than others and their path is smoother. Maybe it is. Maybe it only appears that way because they don’t let you see what they’ve stuck in the sand.
When we consciously bury our secret, it begins to bump around in our sub-conscious. And that’s where stuff really begins to ooze and fester. We have to turn up the volume on the “La! La! La! La! I can’t hear you!” chant to maintain its effectiveness. We actively dodge and weave any confrontation with reality, but it leaks out through the cracks. And perhaps we rely on a little hit of alternate reality to cope. I’m quite positive the powers that be who have legalized marijuana and extended the reach and shopping hours for alcohol did so for a reason. Let’s all dance into La La Land and ignore the elephants in our room.
It drives us farther and farther away from ourselves and our loved ones. The chasm swallowing you becomes deeper and darker.
It’s much easier than dealing head on with your biggest fear. Or the acknowledging the abysmal state of the planet. It seems like everyone is losing their jobs. There are a record number of business closures, yet unemployment is at an all time low globally. Where are we heading? Into a shift.
I’m not sure which is worse. The doomsayer who latches on to every negative vibration or the clueless optimist who pretends everything is fine. Denial is not a legal defence and only reinforces the desperate need to run from those negative feelings. Ignorance is not bliss. You deliberately miss the warning signs, then panic when shit gets real.
I know because I’ve done it.
Can you see where your landslide is going? As it spirals out of control, it deepens and widens and takes on a life of its own. Soon, what you thought might only be a tiny problem is a bonafide monster rising up against you. And you made him worse. You fed him. Climb back on top and ride the wave.
When it has you cornered, you can either dig another hole or dig into the truth. I finally stopped running (because I couldn’t hide any longer) and asked God for help. He gently led me up to the gate and pushed me through. He didn’t take away my trial, but He was there with me.
And guess what? It wasn’t so bad. Yes, it’s gonna leave a nasty scar, but I’m finally free of the worry. Huge boulders came rumbling off my shoulders. I slept better. I behaved better. I was much kinder to myself. I could face forward and tackle the oncoming crisis. (Remember, I slept with Murphy and really f*cked him over, so there are more crisis in the making). By taking my head out of the sand, I could see clearly and where Matt and I needed help.
God does listen. He might not remove the mountain in front of you, but he will help you make the climb. The journey isn’t around the hill … it IS the hill.
Face it. This is what has propelled me towards fearlessness next year. I’ve experienced a breakthrough. When forced to confront the spectre of cancer, I stood my ground. And was made a better person for it.
By the way, an ostrich doesn’t really stick her head into the sand. She digs a hole to lay her eggs and sticks her neck and beak into the nest several times a day to rotate her babies. That’s proactive – not reactive – care. Humans are the only animal who can be fools.
The (hidden) Fox
P.S. My guilty secret is one of those things where half of you will say “OMG no?! You didn’t really? HOW could you be that stupid?” and the other half will say “That’s IT? That’s the worst you’ve got?” It will be in the book. Of course I have a story I tell myself.
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