Thursday, May 21, 2009

Danger! Danger! Falling Shoes!!!

I’ve had a bad habit of, when things are going well, waiting for the shoe to drop. And not just drop but plummet down on top of my head with such momentum and velocity and that I’m left unconscious and wake up wondering “What the H-E-Double Toothpicks just happened?”

This habit isn’t completely irrational because shoes have fallen in the past. I had a great job, things were going really well, then the ‘corporate restructuring’ happened and I ended up out of work. I thought I’d finally met ‘The One’ then he decided his ex-girlfriend was ‘The One’. He married her but really wanted to stay friends with me.

Yes, shoes have dropped and in ways that have taken my breath away; but I can’t expect them to drop every time. I can’t wait for the inevitable shoe to drop because it’s not inevitable. Every situation is different and just because something happened in the past doesn’t mean that it will happen again.

Waiting for the shoe to drop is a form of protection. It’s a preemptive measure designed to keep you from getting hurt. If you know something bad is coming then, you’ll be prepared when it happens. But living with an underlying sense of dread and staring up at the sky in hopes of getting a glimpse of that shoe as it begins its descent is no way to live.

Having your guard perpetually up, approaching everything and everyone with a skeptical and jaded eye, and expecting the worst will keep you from getting hurt, but it will also keep you from experiencing the full measure of happiness and hope and even love you, and I, deserve.

We can and should learn from every experience. The key is to be able to take away the lessons without taking the hurt, bitterness and trepidation.

One lesson I’ve learned is to appreciate the moment, the now. Living fully in the present prevents you from worrying about future events that might never happen. It also allows you to enjoy the here and now. If the shoe does drop, it drops. But, if it doesn’t … and it might not … you have saved yourself a lot of unnecessary uneasiness and anxiety.

Now, the only shoes I’m looking for are on sale.

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