I found an interesting line in a Stephen King novel (Bag of Bones, I do believe, [and incidentally I’m a bit excited that they’re making a movie based on it] though I’ve read about four of his lately and I can’t swear to that) that I had to share because it’s funny, but could potentially be inspirational if you chose to make it so. His character remarks to himself that he’s heard the statement that FEAR stands for “Face Everything And Recover” (I think this comes from AA but I can’t swear that’s original provenance) but that he actually thinks in this instance it may stand for “F**k Everything And Run”. (Also from AA but again, may not be original provenance.)
(Note: For the record, the first version does appear on the FreeDictionary list of acronyms. The second, however, does not…it appears in what is labeled a “polite form” of “Forget Everything And Run”. Hmph. I like Mr. King’s version better. It’s funnier. I also like “Failure Expected And Received” because that is exactly what fear is. Self-fulfilling prophecy of failure. End parenthetical ramble, back to topic at hand.)
It’s a giggle, I gotta admit. But if you want to be the Sage instead of the Cynic, you could stick with the first acronym, because that’s really sort of cool. Face Everything And Recover. I like it, because I think that as humans with busy daily lives and lots on our minds, we tend to do a lot of sweeping of things under the proverbial rug. We don’t have the time or energy to deal with all our hangups and idiosyncracies and mental rubbish; we’ve got jobs to do, dinner to cook, kids to bathe and bills to pay. Oh, and workouts to do…and on and on, ad nauseum. But that mental rubbish doesn’t go away; it just lies there, under the rug, that lump getting bigger and bigger, and here’s the part that sucks: it’s not just dust-bunnies. There’s garbage in there, not just trash – and after a while, it really starts to smell. It’ll stink up your whole life if you let it.
Pulling back the rug and dealing with the crap underneath is pretty nasty, because once you pull that back, the smell is even worse. But it’s only worse for a little while, because once you deal with it, the smell is gone. And it’s never going to be gone if you leave it under the rug. You have to go through the Face Everything part before you get to the And Recover part. If you try to do it backward, all you get is RAEF, and that doesn’t mean a damned thing.
So I just thought that was sort of interesting. As I keep telling people who are facing things and looking to me (and other people) for answers – it’s like lancing a boil. (Sorry for the visual.) It hurts, it’s nasty, it’s messy and gross, but until you do it you’re never going to get rid of that boil. You have to face the nasty crap, clean it out (gritting your teeth against the pain, sometimes) and then you get the blessed relief that comes afterward. (And then, once you’ve lanced it, STOP PICKING AT IT!)
Facing our issues sucks. It’s hard and it sucks. But there’s not much in life that feels better than having them faced, dealt with, and cleaned away. Maybe they never really go away completely – there’s always going to be dust under the rug, and probably you’re going to get a whiff of the bad smell sometimes, when it’s really hot and the wind’s coming from the wrong direction – but at least you’re not being driven out of your home by the all-pervading, choking stench of un-addressed problems.
Lately, I have the feeling that maybe I’ve got some rug-cleaning to do. I’ve cleaned out a lot of crap over the years, and I wouldn’t think there’d be much of anything other than a dust-bunny or two, but there’s a faint aroma of spoilage rising from that general area. So I am going to have to lift the corner at some point and see what’s waiting for me. (And the really funny part of that? I know what’s under there. Sure I do. I put it there, after all, and I can smell it. I know very well what it is. I’m just not sure what to do about it.)
The problem is, right now, I’m way, WAY more into “F**k Everything And Run”. Which is very self-defeating, because the thing that sucks is that the rug goes with you, no matter how fast you run. And that sounds bleak but honestly, it isn’t, because I have this mental image of me running and running, panting and sweating and panicky, and this enormous room-size rug rolled up, attached to one leg by a chain, bumping along behind me, and that’s sort of a giggle too, if you let it be.
I need to stop running and just clean underneath the stupid rug. I need to stop worrying so much about preserving the status quo and just deal with what’s bothering me. I need to stop whining and start dealing.
I need to go have my morning snack, and get some work done.