Sometimes it takes crashing and burning to find out we know how to fly.

Sometimes it takes crashing down onto the ground to realize what’s actually wrong. We have these skills that allow us to be really good at ignoring the things in our lives that we don’t want to pay attention to. In general, it’s necessary that we don’t pay attention to everything and only give large amounts of our attention to a small number of things at any given time. We can’t function if we are taking in every single thing that comes at us all the time so selectivity is important.

The downside to that is, we have a tendency to misuse this ability. We are really good at being able to pretend that things are different than they really are. We are good at pretending our relationships are sound, when we know that they aren’t. We are good at pretending that next year we will get our lives in order, when we know that we won’t. We are good at pretending we will look for a new job next week, and go back to school next semester. We are good at pretending that we will start our workout routine tomorrow, because we have a lot going on today and it’s really hard to exercise with no one to help me watch Jack (and I totally swam some today, so it does too count, stop telling me it doesn’t!). Okay so maybe that last one was mostly me. But that’s not the point.

The point is, we make priorities. Certain things get put on the back burner. Unfortunately, that back burner is still on. Maybe it’s on low, but if you continuously leave something sitting over an open flame, at some point in time it’s likely to catch on fire. And then that thing that you were planning to do, that thing that you really need to pay attention to ends up going up in flames. And once it’s on fire, that’s when we start to take notice.

Unfortunately it’s a lot harder to fix something once it’s been damaged. It’s not impossible, but it’s a lot harder. If instead of ignoring the problems in the relationship, we had worked on them or at least acknowledged them, we’d be in a better position to keep it. Because it isn’t always that we want to let go, it’s just that we’ve gone too far to know how to get back. And when we’ve been out of school for so long, it’s hard to deal with being older than everyone and going back into an environment where our lifestyle is different than most of the people around us. Fitting things in with our schedules or lack of schedules gets frustrating when there’s not a simple fix and it’s going to require time and effort.

But once that fire is lit, once we start to crash towards the ground, that’s when we open our eyes. That’s when we realize something needs to happen. When that line is crossed and we’ve reached the point of no return. Things cannot stay the same any more. And those are the moments when we finally make the choice to change and to act. Sometimes it takes crashing and burning to find out how we know how to fly.

About laurenc129

I'm a mom. Sometimes my hands turn orange. Other times I write. On twitter: @laurenc129

Posted on June 27, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 40 Comments.

  1. poeticlullaby

    You ask, “What lies between fear and love?” I say doubt.

  2. Finally just catching back up on your post! I love this one, usually you have to hit rock bottom to figure out when you need to fix something, I came close when I had an addiction to pot luckily I had the will power to push myself forward and fix it before I lost anything I had.

    Our ability to ignore things is good as you said but does have it’s downs; the way I’ve worked it into my life is be aware of everything but realize what really matters in life, what are you just complaining about or what actually will improve life.

    Keep up the great posts!

  3. the road to the top is not a straight up. sometimes we must fall before we rise 🙂 good post!

  4. Thanks for liking my post. The reason I talked about escapism today is exactly related to this wonderful post you wrote. I was in a relationship where our issues were constantly put on the back burner…by the other person. And no matter how much I reminded them, I was just put back together until everything went up in flames. And now i’m trying to escape the pain of the loss of that relationship. Unfortunately I cannot until I deal with it because I keep pushing the pain away. But I know it’s just a matter of time until I make it a priority to move on. Thanks for writing this.

    • I’m glad. Time does have a good way of changing our priorities. Although sometimes it takes longer than I would like for it to take! Thank you for stopping by 🙂

  5. Perfectly stated, and so dang true. Thank you for the words of wisdom. Maybe I can check those pots on the stove before I burn down the house!

  6. Excellent post, though an occasional dose of denial helps me get through the rough times…..the trick, as you say, is to not let it get so far that you crash and burn.

  7. Wonderful post! It really hits home for me.

  8. Familiar perspective ! Thanks for sharing. There are many skills I use to distract from the painful events and emotions when I can not make things better right away, effective in the moment but destructive for long term. I really enjoy reading your blog.

  9. Great post! I needed to hear exactly what you are saying. I don’t want to get to the point that something in my life is on fire and I have to work twice as hard to fix it. I want to work on it now while it is only a simmer. Thanks!

  10. Love your last paragraph – I do not understand sometimes what motivates me when it is not a crash and burn situation – what spurs me on sometimes, and what holds me back other times
    good, informative post

  11. “Because it isn’t always that we want to let go, it’s just that we’ve gone too far to know how to get back.” Nice.

  12. inspiring and related…

  13. Though Jewish i follow many spiritual paths. this is very inspiring. The place where we crash and burn is the place where we awaken to Divinity within ourselves and every one else

  14. As a proud Jewish woman, I am historically trained to NEVER give up – there is an exodus for everyone. Your blog post is inspiring – hope you read/comment on my own blog @heiressmommy.wordpress.com

    Shalom!

  15. Reema Siddiqui

    Great content of this post!

  16. You’re right… again, of course LOL And one of the things that I’ve learnt from this psychology training I’ve had at work this week is that I could have potentially improved my marriage had I known the skills I’ve just learnt. If that makes sense. I’m a little tired again 🙂

    But it takes two to tango and there’s no going back now. I don’t want to go back, frankly. One day I’ll be in another relationship and next time it’ll work.

    This post immediately made me think of one of my favourite movie quotes, from Batman Begins… Michael Caine’s Alfred says it… you can’t beat Michael Caine… I may be paraphrasing here…

    “Why do we fall, Master Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.”

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