Hit in the Head

16 Feb

There is a zen saying that sometimes you have to hit your head against the wall enough times before you finally say, “Ouch!” and stop. As a clinician, I’ve always loved this graphic illustration of Freud’s repetition/compulsion theory and the affirmation that painful patterns can indeed be broken, even if it takes us awhile to get there.

Well, about a week ago, my surf board hit me in the head. Yes, hit me in the head. I have no idea what I did. I was riding a nice easy wave and thought I was having a nice easy landing until suddenly, I felt this thud against the side of my head and realized the board had whacked me.

I distinctly remember when I graduated from a foam surf board to a big girl board, a friend of mine warning me to always hold my hands over my head when falling off the board to protect my head. He shared this with me after his wife learned the hard way. The first time she ever paddled out, her board hit her in the face giving her a black eye. I paid attention to this tip and for ten months diligently ducked and covered.

Well, getting hit by the board is not a proper comparison to the Zen parable. However, I had no business being out in the water that day because I was EXHAUSTED. And when you’re exhausted, that is when you get hurt. I was exhausted mentally, emotionally and physically and herein lies the link to the Zen parable. How many times do I have to run myself down until I realize – “ouch!” This hurts. Surfing wasn’t the problem. What I did to myself in terms of being busy prior was. It took getting bonked in the head for me to have a wake up call. I realized in that moment that I need to SLOW DOWN. I need to rest.

And then of course I got a full blown cold, which was a blessing in disguise. I felt feelings I haven’t felt in awhile and escaped into that luscious Ny-Quil coma that comes on when you’ve been blowing your nose all day and finally cave in to taking a decongestant.

I am now looking at what I do and don’t take on, so that yes, I can get back on that board and surf. But not when I’m tired. Instead when I’m rested and better balanced…

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