There’s a counselor at my church who offers ‘group’ counseling sessions during our Wednesday night bible study time slot. Recently he has been talking about the proper way to process your emotions, helping you to understand the reason you may feel a certain way about a particular thing. Because sometimes a thought isn’t just a thought. What do I mean?
Here is an example: THOUGHT – Man, a donut would be nice! Let’s stop by Krispy Kreme!
Ok. Seems harmless right? A krispy kreme would be delicious right now. Perhaps I saw the Krispy Kreme donut truck while I was driving down the street which was the initial prompt for my outcry of confection on a weekday morning. Here’s what was REALLY going on….
I had just left a senior awards ceremony for one of the teens at my church. The ceremony happened to be at my old alma mater. I spoke with a few of my old teachers and staff at the school answering the inevitable “So what are you up to nowadays?” type questions. This question has been my main motivation for not going back to visit the one place I was so quick to flee in the late 90s. Good question though…what AM I up to nowadays? Wasn’t very excited to tell them that I was currently unemployed and sleeping on the floor of my mom’s apartment. I tried my best to beef up my recent three-month excursion to teach English in Brazil, but no matter how golden that experience had been it paled in comparison to my c/o 99 goal of having completed my BA and MA by now. According to the life goals sheet I conjured up in 6th grade, I should be well on my way to meeting Byron (my future husband) who works at Warner Bros. while I was a cartoonist for Disney.
So in my hurried effort to leave my alma mater (aka den of doom) I sought to go to my ‘happy place’ which at that moment was a krispe kreme donut since that’s what I used to enjoy every once in a while after a long hard day of long division and history papers during my grade school days. (Also spent late Friday nights with my friends at Krispy Kreme in Richmond.) For what its worth, I drove past any store that offered the poisonous confection that plagued my thoughts and ended up with some sweet, juicy canteloupe.
After that day I began to think more about my ‘happy places’. Do I have any others? Indeed I do. Target is a happy place for me and my most recently acquired one at that. Something about that red and white bullseye that makes me feel all warm inside. Two other retail happy places for me:
I have wonderful memories associated with both of these places, but there’s one other happy place that I have that I have been neglecting recently. My priorities have been consumed with the desire to gain employment, find a bed and discover more expert strategies to dodge bill collectors who don’t understand that I literally have no money (joking…partially….) so that I often fall asleep shortly after I get home in the evenings. I’m in my second week of a new retail job and won’t see a paycheck until towards the end of this month. Things are rough. I am exhausted. Ridiculously so. So much so that the one happy place I can go to without shoveling out a dime, wasting gas and driving to or having to wear my best clothes for is usually far from my mind as I fall into my exhausted dreamland on my floor palet. What is it?
When I don’t visit that happy place regularly, I become extra surly. This a happy place that I was created to thrive in. When I am not in it, I go through small doses of withdrawal that can build up over time if allowed. I am at that place now…fighting the withdrawal symptoms headon. Lord, knows even here at work I need to visit that place……