Embracing the depressive position.
So fancy for a snowy Wednesday. And what the hell does it mean?
It means that if we aren’t willing to feel sad, we end up feeling empty.
Allow me to explain. Let’s say, I am hungry, and I have three shiny fruits in front of me – an apple, a banana and an orange. Each of the juicy babies is shouting “pick me, pick me” as I scratch my head, trying to decide which of these delectable delights I want to bite into.
“Well,” I overthink it. “The apple sure is shiny. And the banana packed with potassium. But the orange. It sure will give me my dose of vitamin C. Hmmm … which one do I pick?”
All the while, I am waiting, and the fruit is rotting. I am paralyzed in indecision. If I choose the apple, I can’t have the banana and the orange. If I select the banana, I have to say good-bye to the apple and the orange. If I inhale the orange, the apple and the banana will just sit there lonely and rejected.
What to do? What to do? My internal angst is making me hungrier.
If I can’t choose the depressive position, I will do nothing. I will remain famished and the fruits will turn into still life. The only thing I have accomplished is I have successfully AVOIDED the pain of not eating two of the fruits.
I hope you are following this foolish example because the principle is alive and ever-present – whether it be men, homes, careers, jobs, vacation spots, books to read, clothes to buy, etc. Every emotionally-loaded choice we must make in life means agreeing to feel our feelings.
Because, we can’t have it all. In choosing one thing, we leave behind something else. And that hurts. Loss, rejection and perhaps, abandonment are the resulting feelings. Only to be topped with anxiety – did I make the right decision? Would I have enjoyed the banana more than the apple?
In accepting the harsh reality that all feelings are meant to be felt, that they are not the end-of-the-world, we then open ourselves to joy.
I am so sorry, dear apple and orange. Another time. But in this moment, I am going to sit down with my luscious banana and have a grand ole’ time. Not only am I not going hungry, I am going to own my choice and milk her for all I can.
Banana split, anyone?