Friday, June 15, 2018


I like the extended metaphor of the Emotional Tool Box that contains a sledgehammer but not much else. This goes to the learned habit of not "falling apart" when you need to; so when your reserves finally do break down, it ends up being a big blow out that seems totally out of proportion to whatever set us off. After you've used the sledgehammer, then your family modifies their behavior temporarily -- just because they want you to put the sledgehammer away and not use it for awhile. This is how vulnerable kids learn to tiptoe around unpredictable parents, hoping not to get on their bad side (something which I never wanted to do to my own kids). So the goal is to get a wider variety of tools / strategies in your tool box so that you can deal with issues as they arise rather than suppress your irritation, hurt feelings, or whatever until they lead to another frustrating melt down.

One useful tool, according to Nadia Bolz-Weber, is a shovel:
"What's your capacity for self awareness? How much of your own BS can you call on yourself? What I mean by that is that you have to deal with your own shit. So right in front of you, get a shovel, figure out how to get rid of it, figure out what's yours, get rid of it. Because otherwise, everyone that needs what you have to offer has to step in your shit to get to your gifts. And they shouldn't have to do that. So your job as a spiritual leader is to deal with your stuff."
Speaking of emotional shovels and sledgehammers, who can forgot this MTV classic:
You could have a steam train
If you'd just lay down your tracks
You could have an aeroplane flying
If you bring your blue sky back

All you do is call me
I'll be anything you need

You could have a big dipper
Going up and down, all around the bends
You could have a bumper car, bumping
This amusement never ends

I want to be your sledgehammer
Why don't you call my name
Oh let me be your sledgehammer
This will be my testimony
Show me round your fruit cakes
'Cause I will be your honey bee
Open up your fruit cakes
Where the fruit is as sweet as can be

I want to be your sledgehammer
Why don't you call my name
You'd better call the sledgehammer
Put your mind at rest
I'm going to be-the sledgehammer
This can be my testimony
I'm your sledgehammer
Let there be no doubt about it

Sledge sledge sledgehammer

I kicked the habit (I kicked the habit)
Shed my skin (Shed my skin)
This is the new stuff (This is the new stuff)
I go dancing in, (We could go dancing in)
Oh won't you show for me (Show for me)
I will show for you (Show for you)
Show for me (Show for me), I will show for you

Yea, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, I do mean you
Only you, you've been coming through
Going to build that power
Build, build up that power, hey
I've been feeding the rhythm
I've been feeding the rhythm
Going to feel that power, build in you

Come on, come on, help me do
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, you
I've been feeding the rhythm
I've been feeding the rhythm
It's what we're doing, doing
All day and night, come on and help me do,
come on and help me do

Peter Gabriel
Sledgehammer lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Coincidental Message from a Friend: "May God supply you with the strength, perseverance, patience, kindness, self-control, grace, mercy and all the other tools you will need to accomplish your task. God is a great provider of those resources and will happily help you out my dear friend."

And this Polish Linguistic Expression: "You know the feeling well -- living between the hammer and the nail."
Thanks Megan & Beata!

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