I’ve been walking into walls, bumping into corners, and stubbing and hitting my toes on a lot of things lately. It’s really weird. Somehow my brain is telling my body to cut corners when there are actually obstacles and things in the way.
For example, the other day when I was bee lining towards the front door to leave the house, my brain failed to register that there was a corner I needed to maneuver around, and I smashed my shoulder hard, right into the wall. This was not an isolated incident, because I’ve also been tripping over and smashing my feet into bedposts, table legs, couch corners, and half-opened doors a lot in the past few weeks. It’s ridiculous, because this is my own house we’re talking about here.
So, of course, I complained to Winnie, after having cursed the bed frame I just maimed myself against, and she, very logically and rationally, said, “Why don’t you just look where your feet is going?”
To this, I replied, “Because I learned to walk 34 years ago. It’s more important for me to look at the destination, rather than looking at my feet.”
But then, it clicked.
The epiphany didn’t come to me at that moment, but the next day, it dawned on me. I do this all the time in my life. I try so hard to look ahead; but ironically, it’s the things right in front of me – that I am not paying attention to – that’s always tripping me up and getting in my way. My mind is too focused on the future, the “what-ifs,” that I don’t stay in the here-and-now, the present, dealing with what is in front of me.
Some people say time travel is impossible, but I don’t think so. I spend most of my time in the future, worrying and trying to anticipate everything that could go wrong. I play out all the possible scenarios on things I care about most, trying to forecast the future, good and bad. This is how I cope with feeling vulnerable – a way to feel some sort of control over the chaos I sometimes feel inside. It is a buffer.
Unfortunately, it removes me from the present, and I wind up feeling indifferent and removed, missing out on the joys and sorrows of the moment, living my life as if I am reading about it in a non-fiction novel, instead of actually living it. (I also psychoanalyze and navel-gaze about the past a lot, internally gridlocked on old hurts and issues, and then defensively tries to predict about the future, but then, that’s another topic in itself.)
Perhaps I do this, because then I don’t have to risk feeling sad, angry, hurt, jealous, disappointed, rejected (perhaps more accurately, self-rejected), and ashamed. But I also miss out on feeling happy, satisfaction, contentment, accomplished, accepted, joy, peace, courage, forgiveness, restoration, or healing. If I avoid feeling sad, I will also avoid feeling truly happy.
I cannot choose one without the other, and from my personal journey, the negative more difficult emotions wind up surfacing in cold forms anyways; ie, bitterness, anxiety, depression, and psychosomatic issues. We can’t entirely ignore it.
Like I said, ironically, it’s the things right in front of me that wind up tripping me up and running me into walls. It’s the things right in front of me that I choose not to focus on that will eventually hurt me in the end.
Maybe I should regularly take out my contacts and let my near-sightedness do its job.