When things become too much for us and we feel we can’t handle it we tend to suppress it, keep it bottled up and hidden away.
One of the main reasons why we don’t face our fear is simply because our first instinct is to survive. Our defenses are more primal and pretty much “instinctive” and it doesn’t differentiate between non-threatening fear and threatening (tiger running after you) type of fear.
If you are going to be consumed by your fear, well, you are going to be consumed by that proverbial tiger – and this is in its most simplistic form is the reason why we bottle up and carry on.
Leonard’s quote helps remind us that bottling up isn’t sustainable and we will crack – but however painful – will help us heal.
In this case, trying to smash the bottle – would resulting in blinding light – pretty much like when you are in the dark and the lights come on – it’s overwhelming and you can’t see anything. Now imagine that overwhelming you – it’s hard to deal with everyday life when you are overwhelmed.
The next time you find yourself holding back, suppressing or simply avoiding, remember to consider which approach will support you:
1. Avoidance – this can be useful as long as it’s temporary. Full on avoidance will never be helpful and takes lots of energy that could be put to more rewarding intentions. Temporary can give you much needed time to become calm.
2. Head on – what would the outcome be? Are you able to conquer the tiger or will it eat you? How helpful will the outcome be?
3. Slow and steady – almost like a bit off both. Don’t take it all on but don’t throw it all away. How about a helping of this and a bit of that, in small manageable bites? You are not in denial and you are allowing yourself to go at a pace that is not harmful to you.
May your cracks be many 🙂