Maybe this will become a long post one day but these are thoughts off the top of my head. I don’t mean to offend.

I’ve been listening to a couple of ladies with what looks like a successful and growing online business. They serve women who are probably about 35ish, who probably have kids, and who probably have seen their dreams slip from their grasp. And, if they’re married, their husband probably scratches himself in public. The ladies do personal coaching for six-weeks in trade for a thousand bucks. Not a bad gig.

They talk a lot about deep work. The conversation goes like this: “So, you got up this morning and yelled at your husband. Then you yelled at your eleven-year-old who wants Fruit Loops and you’ve already poured the Honey Nut Cheerios. Goddammit! Where’s the creamer??”

They go on: “Girlfriend? We’ve got work to do. We’ve got to go deep and find out where that comes from. There’s DEEP WORK to do ladies! Why do you wake up like that? What happened? What scarred you? What switch was flipped when you were five that still lingers in your psyche? Come on over to our FB group and get on board. Meet other ladies asking the same questions. We’ve got answers. Get ready for the diamond-studded you to come out after we go deep!”

A couple of things come to mind.

The first is…good gawd. Get on with your life. How about this? Apologize to your husband and kid for being crabby. Tell them that you slept lousy on your flat pillow and that you feel your period coming on. Ask for ten minutes alone to have a coffee and collect yourself. And then get on with life. What good can come from wallowing in what your Dad said to you when you were four?

Secondly is that this sounds so weak and fragile and mealy-mouthed compared to people who have been truly broken and have stood up anyway and walked through their brokenness.  Girlfriend? Grow a spine!

The whole thing reminds me of my wife when I was in the hospital for three months. The family moved to Atlanta to the Shepherd Brain and Spine Center and she and the girls moved into the Shepherd-owned apartments. I stayed in the hospital and they came to see me each morning around breakfast time.  She was messing with her phone one morning and, exasperated, put it down. “I’ll tell you what,” she said pointing at me. “If I hear one more woman talk about how rough their life is because they can’t afford a certain kind of jeans or because their kid spilled the cereal again…I’m going to throw up. I’m spending the summer in Atlanta because my husband almost died. I had a doctor hold my hand and tell me that in 48 hours we’ll know if you’ll live or not. That’s what I call a problem. The last thing on my mind is what kind of jeans to wear.”

Look. There are people who have truly been broken and scarred. They need real help. But most people don’t need this kind of strangling obsession with their past. In fact, for most people, this just keeps them from going outside and living life. Wayne Dyer, way back when he was a therapist in Detroit, said that, when people who complained of depression came to see him, he always tried to get them outside for a game of hoops or to ride a bicycle. “It’s hard to be depressed when you’re playing basketball,” he said.

My advice? Get yourself a journal and start ruminating. Get a puppy. Shoot some hoops. Wonder about lots of things and don’t keep many too close. Open up. Enjoy. Help someone.


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