Sunday, June 11, 2006

The Breaking Point…

What do you do when you reach the point that you feel you can’t take it anymore?

Depending on the person, the response is different, but many will look for someone to let it out too. I obviously believe that is a much more appropriate solution than some other methods of relieving the pressure, but besides some of the other alternatives, I think letting it out to someone can be more therapeutic many times than actually getting a “solution” to the issue at hand.

Yes, finding the “solution” to the issue is of course a sense of relief, but sometimes even once you have “fixed” whatever it was, if you haven’t let out what has been within you, especially if it has been brewing for a while, it can still remain within you LONG after the issue has been “fixed.”

Maybe you were hurt midst the issue. In cases like that, leaving that “hurt” unattended too, even after the issue has “gone away,” does not mean the hurt will “go away” as well. Hurt can be deep and it can take some specific attention, and you should be okay with taking that the measures for addressing it.

What’s interesting is how we all have different breaking points where we actually “need” to relieve the pressure. Some can keep things bottled up for only a short period of time while others can live with their insides holding on to so much for so many years. I suppose it is related to the level of “hurt.”

In an aside here I want to bring up a thought I’ve thought about lately. It will seem kind of random, but hopefully you’ll see how I think it ties in…HA!

Recently, when driving through a large parking lot at a smilie-face store I came to this idea…

We all have different acceptance-levels; points where we will accept one situation over another similar one. Here is my figuring…

Take the parking lot scenario. As I drove up and down the aisles looking for a spot I thought to myself, you know, there is a spot right there. Granted that spot was probably some ten-miles from the stores front doors (let’s face it, this “store” has BIG parking lots because they are pretty well known and popular places to shop), but none the less, it was a spot. I didn’t “accept” it—I kept driving; maybe I’d “find” a closer spot.

I don’t recall if I ended up finding a closer spot or if I just ended up getting that one or another one that was some million miles from the doors, but the point was, at what “point” was I willing to “accept” the situation at hand instead of continuing along looking for something different?

Some think of this as “settling,” but I don’t know what I think of that terminology, because “settling” has such a negative connotation. I mean is parking ten-miles from the front door necessarily a “bad” thing? We all like to play it off on the exercise “joke” that “Oh, I could use the exercise,” or whatever, but in actuality, depending on how “lucky” you might get, by the time you actually FIND a closer spot, you might have been able to park in the further out spot and have already gotten into the store by that time.

So as I pondered this, I thought, you know, had someone else been in the car with me, or even better, had someone else been driving the car, at what “point” would either of us been willing to “accept” a particular parking spot? Would our “accepting points” been similar or would I have been more likely to continue searching for a closer spot when they were willing to “accept” the further out spot, or vice versa? Which spot is to OUR specific point of “acceptance,” in that it is not far enough out to influence us to continue our spot-searching, but instead it is close enough for us to “accept?”

Now here is the tie…

In a way, I see our “accepting point” and our “breaking point” both as points when we give into our idea of “continuing on.” With the “accepting point” we have come to the conclusion that this is “okay,” it will “suffice” and we “accept it” meaning we will discontinue the way of being at hand (i.e. discontinue the parking spot searching, as in the previous scenario). With the “breaking point” we have come to the conclusion that this is where we can’t take it anymore and we will discontinue the way of being at hand (i.e. discontinue the keeping whatever it is inside us or whatever the case might be).

It goes without saying that “accepting points” in a situation such as choosing a parking spot is a MUCH easier point to reach than say a “breaking point;” however, when each point is presented there IS a decision that has to be made.

Breaking points can be hard. They are typically not readily welcomed by the one experiencing the pressure, but they can bring such a sense of relief when the pressure is released.

Recently I’ve experienced some of my own “breaking points.” You can feel like you can’t take it anymore and you need to get it out. Luckily, I’ve had close friends to turn to and to let it all out too. I’ve cried and that’s okay. I’ve gone over letting it out a few times and cried just about every time it came up, HA, but that’s okay too. What matters is that I WAS able to get it out. I had people to “vent” too.

I think what is important is when you feel you CAN let it out. It is always so helpful when you feel someone is willing to listen to you and willing to not judge you.

I’ve had the blessing of being a “vent” for people in recent times that I do not think I would have been someone they would have come too had it not been for the openness I’ve expressed on my blog over time. There is something comforting in knowing you are not alone in your beliefs or in your doubts, for that matter. But even when those that you choose to go to, to talk to about something, if they are not (or have not) experienced what you have, there can still be a sense of relief of just getting it out, even when they have not given you any advice specifically in reference to the situation at hand.

I will be honest, I don’t always know what to tell people in situations, but I can assure you that I will listen, and sometimes that is one of the MOST important things someone at “the breaking point” needs. I’ve experienced that in times of letting it all out—having come out of the situation no closer to having “solved” the issue, but nonetheless I feel better because…

…I got it out.

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