when it feels urgent

do nothing

I’ve been writing the past couple of days about roadkill.

Yes, I’ve been a bit gross.

Yes. I am more than a bit morbid.

And?

I have a point to make somewhere.

When we swerve to avoid already dead roadkill, we’re acting out of fear, out of urgency.

If you drive, notice your breath and your pulse when you need to swerve on the road.

That’s some fight flight shit going on right there.

When we react impulsively, we frequently put ourselves and others at risk.

As a therapist?

I see a lot of people with a lot of roadkill in their lives.

Shitty events that have had shitty impacts on them.

Shitty events that have already happened.

And?

They reflexively do any thing they can to avoid the stench that comes with the roadkill of their lives.

Playing small, false bravado, acting tough or hiding from those oh so terrible ‘triggers’?

It’s like swerving to avoid something that’s already dead.

What to do instead?

Slow down.

Notice.

Get curious.

One of my instructors from therapy school that I had no fondness for offered this gem:

When things feel urgent, do nothing.

Typically acting reactively and without patience sends us into a ditch.

Easy to say.

Difficult to do.

Support helps.

And, despite years of therapy?

I’m still not immune to being reactive.

I still swerve to avoid the already dead, the roadkill of my life.