The Other Shoe

image post

I grew up hearing the saying, “I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.” I’ve said it myself. It’s a version of “This is too good to be true,” and it’s how we question our abundance. As if “loss” is a must in life, we struggle through tough times to get to the good stuff and then, once there, walk around on eggshells waiting for it to be whisked away. Damn.

Why do we believe that what is good can’t possibly last? And why is it that some people seem to always have a cup that runneth over while others seem never to be able to sip from the cup of goodness?

Is it that our own doubts, or own lack of confidence, actually get in our way? Could it be that when we focus on the negative, we waste energy that should be focused on what it is we want to achieve.

“I hate my job” could become, “I’m looking for work that makes me feel like I’m contributing.”

“I’m not happy where I’m living,” might become “I’m looking for a place with loads of light.”

“I can’t seem to find the energy,” would turn into, “I’m watching what I’m eating and going to bed earlier to boost my energy for the things I want to accomplish.”

A little stream doesn’t have the force to move the boulder in its path. It must flow around the barriers to get to where it wants to go.  Make this analogy work for you. Instead of pushing against boulders – beating your head against a wall – go around. Find another way. Make your own path.

If we push, resist, fight, we waste energy we could be using to imagine and create the reality we want.

You may not be able to change the people around you, and you may not be able to change the circumstances that surround you, but if you change your perception, you change everything. Hating, being resentful, holding on to anger are full of friction. Relax and let go of the resentment, of the anger, and the friction lessens. There’s less resistance and the energy flows more smoothly.

This is what “forgiveness” is all about: letting go, relaxing, and releasing so you lessen the friction and bring more positive energy flowing through and around you.

Today, begin to frame your life in terms of what you want to achieve. If there are people with whom you have had difficulties, send positive energy their way, send them love and joy, and put the positive flow of your small stream to work. You might be surprised at the river you become.

17 Responses to “The Other Shoe”

  1. I really like this analogy. I know that I, and probably other readers here, have tried to move that boulder and found it to be too big. There’s always an alternate path, although it’s not always easy to find.

  2. In a similar vein, I’ve always railed against the phrase “I didn’t have time to do X”. Sure, you did. You chose not to do “X” in the time you had, and chose to do other things.

  3. I too have wondered about people who say they have no time and stay up late trying to get it all done, what are they doing? I seem to have lots of time and yet make my own bread, all meals at home, laundry soap and anything else I can make from Pinterest. I have made it my mission to save every penny I can by not buying anything I can make eg: custard, cakes, cookies, BBQ sauce, pasta sauce, mustard, bread, pasta, meats ( deli ), dishwasher powder, cleaners, soups and everything else you pay a premium for it they package it for you.

    I did hate my job and when I was laid off I had the opportunity to start again and chose to be what I love being and that’s a caregiver, I have done that job for 35 years at home so why not get paid to do it, hence I am now a certified Personal Support Worker for in home clients who wish to stay home.

    My clients say they know when I’m around because I whistle when I work, smile and laugh a lot, love to make fun of my self and joke around. My days fly by and I even ride my bike to work, weather permitting, ride the bus and know all the drivers very well. I walk my dog twice a day so now know all the neighbours and take the time to chat.

    I find that many people come out of the house, get in the car, drive off, come home go in the house and stay there. Where’s the community spirit, smell the roses, wave to people going by etc. My adult children do some times hate when I speak to everyone in line or passing by but the smile on a old ladies face when we chat makes up for it. I could be the only person they have talked to today, that could be you one day.

    So people rally round, smile, laugh, enjoy your life it will be over sooner than you think.

    I think my glass is over filling not half full.

  4. Love this message. Last night one of my close friends dropped out of the wedding party. She said it was because of financial reasons. So I countered with the offer to cover the expenses. Her pride said no (or she was just using the money as an excuse to get out of it, whatever)

    I am extremely hurt by this. I don’t have many friends I rely on, and this is extremely crushing that she wouldn’t even attempt to come to a compromise. Afterwards, I talked to my other bridesmaids and they said they had all offered to cover her cost of the bridal shower and stagette. So it is very sad that she did not accept these generous offers and instead stepped down completely.

    I can choose to wallow in this let down or I can look at where I am blessed and what I can actually change. I am blessed with my other bridesmaids, who immediately after hearing the news dropped everything and went out for dinner with me (all 3 of them, all within 5 minutes had decided this). I am blessed that now the hair and makeup I had already paid for will be going towards my mother meaning we will spend more time together on the day of. I am so grateful that she did this 3 months out, not two weeks.

    I am also removing the feelings of negativity around this, meaning that for the sake of not dwelling I have asked her to not attend the wedding and activities at all, as I don’t want to be reminded of this on the day I get married to a wonderful man.

    I am especially blessed that I can offer financial help to others – even if they refuse to accept it. Of course, that is because of hard work, budgeting and having an emergency fund for unexpected events. Thanks Gail!

  5. @Dom
    How very sad that you are excluding your friend from your wedding events because she was unable to afford the expenses of being a bridesmaid and felt unable to accept the charity of others. You should be more understanding as everyone is different. Some people are too uncomfortable having others pay their way while others are quite happy to have someone else foot the bill. I think your friend was being very honest and your negativity towards her is counter to what Gail is saying.
    “Relax and let go of the resentment, of the anger, and the friction lessens. There’s less resistance and the energy flows more smoothly.
    This is what “forgiveness” is all about: letting go, relaxing, and releasing so you lessen the friction and bring more positive energy flowing through and around you.”

  6. @Linda

    I understand where you are coming from with this perspective. However, I know that my feelings on my wedding day would be affected greatly by being reminded of her betrayal. It is a betrayal, as I was her sole witness and supporter when she eloped with her partner and she is unable to put aside pride to be there and support me. Unfortunately there is a history of her feelings always being more important than mine.

    Of course, as with all things, there is more to the story that a lack of reciprocal relationship. Such as her choice to go on a weekend long camping trip for the stagette of the other wedding she is still in, which includes whitewater rafting. And she had no issue with that bride purchasing her dress for her…

    Negativity will only affect me if I let it. I am so blessed with other things, and this has allowed us to open two more chairs to others who were left out due to the size constraints of the venue. If I continue to think of the positive, the sadness and loss will go away quicker!

  7. Recipients of true goodness understand that they themselves are empty cups.

    If pride fills any part of the cup, goodness cannot enter.

  8. Gail, this is exactly what I needed today. Lately I have been letting a demanding coworker get the better of me and making my blood boil. Going through proper channels has not resolved the issues as this person is buddy buddy with management, so they can do no wrong. So now I will take your advice and go around my bolder, and find a new way of dealing with this. I love my job, with this being the one exception. You have motivated me to find a better way. Thanks Gail! Love your articles, TV shows and books!

  9. Sometimes we can’t change the situation we are in but we can change our outlook. Thank you, Gail, for another inspiring post.

  10. Needed this advice today. It has given me the inspiration to keep going when life gets rough.
    Thank’s Gail 🙂

  11. Wow, Dawn July 4, 2014 at 9:01 am, I wish you were my neighbour! You sound wonderful!

  12. Yes Gail, I needed this today. I too have two acquaintances which rub me the wrong way. I do have resentment with one as she spoke about me behind my back and I was close by. I did confront her and boy, was she embarrassed. The other, well, just something about her I don’t like and I don’t know why. Do you ever have those feelings?

    Anyway, I like your message and I’m going to try very hard to let the resentment go and treat my other acquaintance nicely and see where it leads me. I’m sure I’ll feel happier in the long run.

  13. avatar Catherine Says:
    July 4, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    Like a lot of other people posting here, I needed this reminder. It’s cold and rainy. moved across the country for a job and I wonder what I’m here for. But then, I thought about the positives. If I continue to work hard and save money, I can retire soon. So rather than focus on all my lacks (there are a lot), I’ll reframe it and think about the positives. Thank you!

  14. I often feel that the ‘other shoe is about to drop’ (apparently this is a side-effect of growing up with an alcoholic. ie. life can change in an instant). Even when we have money in the bank, I don’t feel secure. I am going to save this post and refer to it often; trying to put to work this analogy.

  15. Like so many others, I needed this message today too! And I love the analogy!
    @Robin – I am with you! I too love my job except for a particular co-worker who “makes my blood boil”. I have also tried, like you, to resolve the issue but they are in with the folks above and therefore, will be in their position forever. So I have no choice but to deal with it since I don’t want to move. I am being friendly where I can (even though it is EXTREMELY hard) and trying to avoid them as much as possible. I have stopped eating lunch in the office, for example. I can’t stand gossip about other people so it’s easier to avoid it. It’s very difficult not to let it grate your nerves but let’s keep working on it! I don’t want to let one person ruin it – don’t give them the power!

    I am guilty of the “waiting for the other shoe to drop” too! Hard habit to break

  16. Mary, I also grew up in a violent, alcoholic home and was always waiting for something bad to happen, but those feelings do not seem nearly as strong now. Mees – when I worked in retail I did not like eating lunch in lunch room either – lots of negativity and gossip etc. – I would eat quickly and then go for a 15 minute walk – did wonders for mind and body.

  17. I find it a little disconcerting how the “Cult of Positive Thinking” has taken over absolutely everything lately. Sometimes waiting for the other shoe to drop is a sign to be cautious–to properly hedge your bets and have a Plan B in case of worst possible scenario. Gail teaches us this all the time–for emergencies, for divorce. It’s not a bad thing. Apparently there’s a word in Swedish which means “idiot” and it’s reserved for people who walk around telling themselves good thoughts while the house burns down around them. This excessive positive nonsense should stop. Do you really want a positive thinker in charge of your designing your car’s safety systems? ? In charge of disaster planning? In charge of airport security? Sadly (due to this new fad) la-la land thinkers are actually being hired and put in charge of things where critical thinkers who actually look at the real world and evaluate all possible (including worst case scenario) outcomes would make way better candidates.

Leave a Reply

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.