The Other Shoe
December 1, 2016
You’ve heard the expression, “waiting for the other shoe to drop.” Unlike viewing a glass of water as half full or half empty, rhetorically optimistic or pessimistic, waiting for the other shoe to drop involves a sense of foreboding that something wonderful will surely end. Obviously, events in your past, a.k.a. the first shoe, left an imprint in your subconscious. Leaving you consciously waiting for another shoe; certain history will repeat itself by dropping the other shoe at any moment and put an end to a happy event. Alas, waiting for a hypothetical incident that may or may not occur robs you of appreciating the present moment and darkens the waters of anticipating a promising future.
Agreed, life can, at times, be difficult. However, living each day expecting the worse to happen is not the answer. The anxiety alone of constantly upholding the ‘notion’ of waiting for the other shoe to drop creates a shaky foundation in which to foster hopes and goals for the future. After all, it’s hard to expect the seeds of dreams to grow if the soil isn’t fertile; filled instead with the rocks of doubt and mistrust.
Unfortunately, being taught a negative outcome results after a positive experience starts as early as childhood. Imagine a child enjoying a favorite toy is soon scolded for playing on the table, too close to the fireplace or any one of a dozen scenarios. After repeated admonishments a positive playing experience, while initially welcomed, begins to ooze with ominous expectations. Later as the child grows and is offered more responsibility they may be asked to run an errand or complete a task as simple as setting the table. Yet, the proverbial rug of feeling good about themselves is quickly pulled out from under them when they’re reprimanded about something wrong (usually inconsequential) with their gallant effort. Thus, a positive again turns into a negative as a shoe is dropped.
Usually, with children of an alcoholic parent (of which I am one) ‘shoes dropping’ is simply the way you grow up. In my house you would have thought the sky was raining shoes. Didn’t matter how much effort us kids put forth it rarely met with approval. Never heard, ‘good job’ or ‘way to go’ often…and I say ‘often’ as if it was said at all, but I honestly don’t recall hearing positive reinforcement from my parents during my formative years.
No worries, that was then and this is now. I have come a long way from always expecting the door to slam shut, the shoe to drop, or the sky to fall. It has taken slaying many a dragon to erase negative tapes in my subconscious and recreate positive thoughts and behaviors I strive to maintain every day. Simply put, I choose to be the best me I can be. Which equates to: I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my life.
Yet, to achieve that means I don’t choose anxiety about the unknown, worrying about what tomorrow will bring, guilt over past events, hopelessness about the future, or anticipating the proverbial shoe dropping. Instead, I desire to live each day embracing the multitude of positive possibilities that could unfold and so should you. Of course, it means you’ll have to stop infecting your present with the spoils of your past. In other words, stop worrying about shoes dropping!
Friends, to put worry into perspective I’m sharing the following profound quote I appreciate so much: “Worrying is carrying tomorrow's load with today's strength - carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn't empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” ~ Corrie ten Boom
Can you imagine…never expecting another shoe to drop?
Smile, because you can!