A couple of days ago, my insightful, life-coach friend Heather (shameless plug for her here) commented on my last blog post about my need to apologize constantly for my choices and the way I live my life, even when I don’t feel sorry about those things. She simply added this comedy sketch by Bob Newhart to my Facebook page and told me I might appreciate it. In the sketch, Newhart plays a psychologist counseling a young woman about her fear of being buried alive in a box. She relays to him that this thought of being buried alive is so terrifying that she can’t go in tunnels or be in elevators. She is desperate to break free of this pattern in her life. He tells her he will give her two words that should help her put this fear behind her. Then, from across the desk he yells at her, “STOP IT!”
Now, I know that it’s not really possible to stop instantly the thought monsters that lurk in our brains and sabotage our attempts to be our best selves, but I can’t help but think how transformative these two words could be in my life. Look in the mirror and feel like an old hag. STOP IT! Make a mistake and start berating myself. STOP IT! Hear my kids screaming like banshees at each other and feel the urge to intervene. STOP IT! Sit in a quiet PTO meeting and raise my hand to volunteer to take over a committee. STOP IT! Witness hubby folding the towels the wrong way (yes…there is a wrong way) and open my mouth to comment. STOP IT! Have a donut and reach for seconds. STOP IT!
I know I have some giganotosaurus-sized monsters in my head that won’t be quieted with a mere STOP IT, but perhaps those two small words could shush them long enough to keep me from threat-level-red insanity. I mean, if I could just keep myself from volunteering for things I don’t want to do, that would be a colossal step forward. I have invited my hubby and sons to tell me to STOP IT if I am going off the deep end, and I would like to invite my friends to do the same. So, if you see me and I seem to be coming unglued, tell me that you spoke with Bob Newhart. That should be the hint I need to get back on track. Either that or it will cause me to have an inexplicable urge to visit a bed and breakfast in Vermont. But, that might help too.