June 11, 2012

Karla’s Korner: Get Rid of Your Shell

I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!

Get Rid of Your Shell….

There was a turtle along the side of the road on our way to church this morning. It appeared as if he was going to attempt to cross the road. Thankfully for him, country roads are a bit less travelled, which means the likelihood of him making it across safely was relatively high. Apparently sensing danger upon our approach, he quickly ducked his head back into his shell. Naturally my husband made sure to give the turtle his space and continued on our trek.

Thinking about the turtle and how quickly he retreated into the safety of his shell in the face of danger or adversity, I could not help but think about how we humans duck into our own shells when we are in an uncomfortable situation. Duck and run is so much easier than staying and facing the oncoming troubles headed our way. As a child of the 70’s (yes, I am THAT old) I do not recall very many moments of confrontation or problem solving; rather what I remember is folks ignoring or retreating from uncomfortable situations. After all, if you tuck your tail and run you do not have to expend energy or emotion to deal with it.

How often have you been in relationship or community and gotten upset or angry and simply left in order not to have to deal with the issues? It happens all the time; I’ve been guilty of this quite often in my life. In my classroom there tends to be an ongoing cycle of duck and run meaning the minute one student gets upset with another they stomp off and find someone else to play with. Quite often I will hear them say, “I’m not your friend anymore”. This behavior is expected from small children, but what happens when adults display such behavior? Walking away from relationships because we are angry at that particular moment will more than likely make us feel better in the moment, but what about the future? We should ask ourselves if the relationship is worth saving before we remove ourselves from it. If the answer is yes, then staying and fighting for what’s important should be done; no matter how painful it might be. I have not always practiced staying in the fight and working through it and know that I have missed out on something that could have been wonderful. Learning from previous conflicts and taking the time to deal with issues in the present will enable us to grow and develop meaningful relationships.

The old saying “when the going gets tough, the tough gets going” should not be our motto. While I am not suggesting that we ignore our hurt feelings in order to save a relationship, I am suggesting that we remain focused, open to discussion and earnestly work toward positive solutions. How many times have we met with controversy, allowed ourselves to become so angry that we duck into our “shells” and never looked back? I know that I have a time or two and regret it completely. In the event that you find yourself on the brink of wanting to take your ball and leave the playground, stop and think about the person or persons you are about to leave behind? Life is too short to live in a turtle shell; stick your neck out and live a little. Embrace all of the ups and downs of life with your mind body and soul and if you can, get rid of your shell completely. After all, living within the confines of a “shell” will prohibit you from being able to reach out and hold all that life has to offer.



Check out all of Karla’s Korner articles here.

Also, please visit Karla’s Lifetime Moms page and read her articles.

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