A few weeks ago I read a blog post that was intended to be funny, and it was, but it also made me really stop and think.
The post was written by The Orange Rhino, a mom of four young kids who made a goal to go one whole year without yelling. When I first found her blog back in March, I was mostly irritated because I had the same idea in January, and I felt like she was taking away all of the potential I had to blaze some new trail (ha ha, like I’m the first mom ever to think of that!). Anyways, I got over my knee-jerk reaction to secretly hate her and started following her instead. In a recent post, she describes how she was on a road trip with her kids, and well… she had to pee really bad. She made the connection that keeping herself from yelling was just like keeping herself from peeing. She had to “hold it in”. It was a funny article that made a few good points – you have to notice your body’s warning signals when you are feeling angry, just like you do when you have to go to the bathroom, etc. You can read the post here: http://theorangerhino.com/learning-to-hold-a-yell/
But the one thing that kept coming to my mind was this: What happens when you wait too long to go to the bathroom? The answer? It’s accident time, baby. Sooner or later, it’s coming out one way or another. I don’t care care who you are or how much self-control you have, no one is capable of holding it forever. And the longer you hold it, the more of an emergency it becomes. Which explains why earlier in the year – when I made the resolution to NOT YELL – what is now known as The Grand Blow-Up of Day Three shall go down in history as a day of infamy. I simply held it in for two days too long.
It’s funny, because I see a lot of myself in the Orange Rhino. She’s very regimented and has similar goals to mine. But what makes us different is this: Have you ever seen a kid riding a bike and warned them about something in their path, only to see them focus so carefully on avoiding it that they run straight into it? Yep, we’ve all seen it happen. Many’s the time I feel that happening when The Orange Rhino focuses on Yelling so much. When that’s all we think about, it’s all we want to do!! That’s why my initial inclination to make this blog about “Not Yelling” turned into something more like “How to Live Instead”. Have you heard the song, Brave by Sarah Bareilles? I absolutely love it. It is my favorite. Some of the lyrics are, “Say what you want to say, and let the words fall out…honestly…I want to see you be brave”. I think that honoring and giving voice to our true emotions requires a great deal of courage. Instead of holding in those feelings it’s more about getting to the root of the problem, and then finding an appropriate time and place to release them. For me, that’s way this blog has become about being something, as opposed to not being something. I want to become more peaceful, and everything else will hopefully fall into place.
Last week I focused on beginning a more specific journey towards inner peace, and I made a few baby steps in the right direction by acknowledging some of the stumbling blocks in my path and accepting myself for who I am right now. As I laid in my bed very early last Friday morning, I contemplated where I was in the process, and where I stood in my own personal journey. And as I laid there, the most glorious thing happened. The dawn broke over the mountains just east of my house, and ever so slowly, morning light filtered onto the wall in my bedroom. It was a new day, and I felt ready to take it on. Ready to accept the challenges that lie in store and face them with a smile. Ready to persist in the right direction until something happens. Ready to begin anew.
That day I got out of bed and went to the store and bought the book The Happiness Project. I have a feeling I’m going to secretly resent this woman, too, for blazing a new trail I wish I would have. But today, I might actually start reading it. And then, who knows. I may love it. Either way, I’ll let you know.