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recollections of an artist

This may seem like an obvious statement, but let’s examine this for a minute.  In cat sanctuaries, zoo’s and so forth, a main protocol is to never be in the cage with these giant cats alone.  Seems like a smart idea to me.  So how do we go from taking precautions to all of the sudden caressing danger?

Well, it’s actually quite easy. Let me further explain.  Say for instance, I am in the grocery store and as I pass the frozen food isle, out of the corner of my eye I see the ice cream shelves.  In a half a second, I have gone from thinking about the ice creaming, to debating on getting the ice cream, to realizing that I if I get said ice cream, I will eat the whole thing so therefore I shouldn’t get it because I hate when I do that (as does my tummy).  Okay, fine, tiger averted.  But just as quickly as I start to push my cart onward, I have a final thought of, “well, what if I get a small container of ice cream?  Then if I do eat it all, it won’t be that bad.  Oh no no, wait, that’s just setting me up to overeat it.  Okay! Wait! I’ve got it!  I’m a genius!  I will get a regular size and promise myself I will only eat a small bowl amount.  No eating out of the container, no seconds and no picking in-between meals.  Perfect”.  And here it comes…I approach the tiger.

And let me clear about what the tiger is in this scenario.  It’s not the ice cream, but the lies I am feeding myself about the ice cream.  I went from admitting I can’t eat ice cream like a normal person, to the five stages of grief (grief because there is some real loss about to occur here)- 1. denial- this is when I denied myself the ice cream. 2. anger- when I denied myself ice cream, I got sour that I can’t control my ice cream habit to the point where I make myself sick, so basically I can’t have it. 3. bargaining- after rethinking, I decide maybe there is a way to have my cake and eat it too! 4. depression- Eating all the ice cream and feeling extremely full, sick and gluttonous and kicking myself for talking myself into this.  And finally, 5. acceptance- Don’t pet the tiger.

The lies we tell ourselves are so strong when we get comfortable with them, but just because they are strong and comfortable doesn’t mean they are safe to pet.  That’s a tiger for goodness sake!  But we have all done it!!  We pretty much set ourselves up to pet the tiger and get mauled, all the while saying you are aware of the danger, you think it’s a crazy idea and would never pet a tiger.  Are there those few, lucky times when we pet the tiger and get away with it?  Sure, of course.  But do we really want to keep taking that chance??  I am not at all saying I will be perfect and never over indulge in ice cream again (let’s get real here), but I can avoid the tiger by just admitting what I am doing rather than talking myself into thinking there is no danger when the whole scenario is riddled with it.  I can go into the tiger pen with eyes wide open (and always on the tiger)  knowing that I’m safely or unsafely close to trouble and at my own risk, instead of finding myself petting the tiger and getting my face ripped off and wondering how in the world did that happen??!! when I and everyone else (wether they admit it to you or not) know perfectly well how it happened.

Basically, if you didn’t follow or still have no idea what I was talking about, this was really just a very long, elaborate, explanation to say one thing- Eat all the ice cream you want.  Just don’t pet the tiger.

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