Have you ever skied? My college instructor told us that our skis would go in the direction our heads went. So if we look to the right, we go to the right. If we look ahead, we go ahead. He also told us how to stop--using our legs. I never got very good, partly because I missed most of the lessons. Partly because I have no natural sense of direction.
In fact, if you've seen the Seinfeld episode where George chooses to live in opposite world, that is usually the way I navigated (prior to google maps, which really has improved my marriage drastically!). George realized that his choices were leading him to outcomes that were opposite to his desires. He was in his thirties, living at home, without a real job, without a girlfriend. George came to see that if he made different choices, his life could be different. So he started hesitating prior to making a choice, and did exactly opposite what his natural instinct was. And, you guessed it, he landed an awesome job, got a girlfriend, moved out on his own, yada yada yada, you get the picture.
I am convinced by what I see in practice and in life that each of us is affected by our choices. Good choices mostly lead to good outcomes, and poor choices mostly lead to poor outcomes. These outcomes may take some time to see the actual result. This is consistent with one of the laws of physics, in fact, (surprise!):
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Yes, I know this 3rd Law of Newton is traditionally applied to motion, stay with me as this can also be applied to our choices...in relationships, in behaviors, in life. For example, when I choose to hold my tongue in order to respect my husband (instead of throwing the fit that I want to throw), Michael softens and shows me love. When I choose to help my children plan for the next day (rather than throwing things together, yelling, and arriving late to our destination), my family is able to enjoy breakfast together prior to arriving on time. I could go on and on. I'm sure you can think of some examples in your life.
What does this have to do with skiing, you ask? Well, I remember the first thing my instructor said: your body follows your head. If you want to go forward, you have to look forward. If you want to go right, look right. You can't be looking behind you for 2 important reasons:
1. You won't move forward--in other words, you can't move into the future.
2. You will run into things and have no way to defend yourself--in other words, you won't be able to see triggers, temptations, and trouble in your present.
So, again I ask you, What direction are you headed?
© 2018 Jen Wisdom-Schepers, MD. All Rights Reserved.
Disclaimer: Jen Wisdom-Schepers, MD is licensed to practice medicine in the State of Tennessee. While Jen Wisdom-Schepers, MD may provide remote coaching and information products that are available outside Tennessee, such are not intended to be and may not be used for treatment purposes. Any information made available by Dr. Schepers on this website or through remote services outside of Tennessee are expressly and exclusively for education. If as a result of exposure to these resources, you are driven to seek psychotherapy, you are encouraged to do so promptly and locally.