The Recovering Farmer

Friday, November 2, 2012

Build A Bridge

How many times have you heard the phrase “get over it”? Certainly if you have had anything to do with kids, whether your own or someone else’s, you will have heard that. Often times, I am sure, you have felt like using it yourself. And, I am sure, there are times when you did use it. As many of you know by now, I often slip into a state of rumination. I stew about things. I have, on occasion, wallowed in self-pity. Some time ago I was worked up about something. Can’t remember what anymore. Perhaps that in itself is a sign that it happens to often. My wife finally had enough and told me to get over it.

I deal with many people who are in crisis. Some real, some perceived. And, like me, many of these people feel they are alone. They feel like they are being picked on. Taken advantage of. Sometimes I feel like telling them to get over it. Sure, it hurts initially. Sometimes, temporarily, it puts us deeper into that cauldron of self-pity. Thinking everyone else is on easy street. I am the only one hurting. And the age old line, nobody cares and nobody understands. (Heard a new term today. Self-compassion. I want to learn more about that. It sounds like a much healthier emotion than self-pity.)

Just recently one of my kids said to one of their siblings, “get over it”. In the background I heard someone else say; “build a bridge”. Excuse me. Build a bridge? Sure they explained. When you are told to get over it what do you need? You need a bridge. That simple.

You know me. I started applying the concept to life. Instead of muddling our way through, fighting everything we are trying to avoid, we need to build a bridge. In my mind I conjured up this picture of a crisis being like a river. A river with a swift and turbulent current. As you start across the river the water gets deeper. Mud is sucking at your feet. The current is throwing you off balance. The water gets colder. Then when the water gets too deep for walking you start swimming. The current takes you down stream and you end up in places you had not wanted to go. In a worst case scenario you can drown.

Now picture crossing that same river on a bridge. Sure, having to build a bridge will take some time and some effort. But when it is built it becomes a way to circumvent a lot of problems. You stay dry. You stay on course. You stay safe. Now you can observe the river from above. There are no threats to life or limb. And once that bridge has been built it can be used time and time again.

So next time someone says “get over it”, build a bridge. Don’t take it personally. Take it as a challenge. Understand that there is a better way than the way you are dealing with an issue. Instead of mucking through an issue, utilize tools to get over it. The tools are available. And the best part of this is you don’t need to do this on your own. Find your supports. Friends, family, neighbors, professionals. They are all prepared to be on your “construction” crew. They are your supports. Remember. “When it hurts to look back and you are worried about the future look beside you and you will find your friends.” Make it a good one.

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