Whose Shoes Are These? (An Introspective Question)

“You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
in any direction you choose.
You’re on your own.
And you know what you know.
You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”
– Dr. Seuss


Hang on for a second …

An easy question to ask concerns how often you find yourself having to justify yourself to others. A harder question, and one I might suggest may be much more important, is how often you find ‘others’ having to justify themselves to you?

I just want to say …

Do everyday conversations you have with others feel like losing battles ‘you must’ win? Does social banter take on the sensation that it’s taking place with a fast-taking salesman on a used car lot? When speaking with others, are you simultaneously carrying on a conversation with that ‘inner voice’ talking in your head? Indeed, it often feels like there are so many questions and so little time. And, by the time you are ready to make your point, the conversation has already ended.

Let me just tell you something …

For many, such situations are a daily phenomenon that ultimately lead to yet another blow to their self-esteem. Each daily interaction with others becomes a psychometric test of their self-worth, more often than not surrendering the same feeling of futility they have grown accustom to. Rather than questioning the value and certainty of the world around them, they seem hell-bent on devaluing themselves.

No. You’ve got it backwards, so let me explain …

When the ‘shoe is on the foot’ in our lives, we tend to notice because something just doesn’t feel right. In times of mental anguish, we seem to be hard-wired with a bit of genetic coding that runs a self-diagnostic sub-routine that checks for ‘broken code’. Depending on the individual and his or herself-perception, this process of introspection usually yields one of two results. In some, a resounding “I’m OK” conclusion explodes in their consciousness, and life goes on. In others however, a form of overload manifests causing a cascading chain of self-destructive implosions rendering the individual … stifled. This latter individual, flogging himself as he moves to the side of the road, eventually breaks down into a quivering mass of self-questioning defeatism.

Can I get a word in edgewise?

When it’s time to play the ‘blame game’, one’s passiveness turns aggressive. The desire to throw the heavy yoke from one’s back is a halfhearted and bitter affair. Shades of the ‘garbage in, garbage out’ mantra’ are heard. “I’m having a hard time of late digging myself out of a hole I’ve dug for myself some years ago. You want to know why? Because my hole is really at the bottom of a much larger hole that was dug for me by others long ago.”

If you could just wait, please …

Meanwhile they keep digging under the delusion that the answer to all their problems lies at the end of the deep and dark shaft they have hurled themselves into. They valiantly hope to find that what’s upside down in their lives, may in fact become right side up at the end of their struggle. So, they keep digging and banging their heads on the walls around them as they sink lower and lower into the abyss.

Let me interject …

Yes, some people think that their problems are sort of like the Earth. If they dig down far enough eventually they will find that what’s down is up. Of course, this is a poor analogy because way before they reach ‘China’ they will invariably fry themselves silly in our planet’s molten core (13000°F). Yes, people like this tend to miss the big picture, and it’s the ‘little things’ they miss that ultimately will be their undoing. Coincidentally, did you hear about the man who tried to walk around the world? He drowned.

Can I just finish, please?

Sometimes, being able to see the ‘big picture’ simply means viewing it from another angle, and yes it is generally true that there are many angles to all things in life. While we can’t turn our heads completely around, we can at least ‘turn the other cheek’ especially in regard to ourselves. To be honest, even a 90 or 180 degree turn may be all that’s needed to give ourselves a different spin on things. But first, we need to remove the blinders we have grown so comfortable wearing, especially if we want to catch the ‘first ray of the new rising sun’ in our lives.

Let’s cut to the chase …

Yes, the sun can shine out your ass, too. However, first you must learn to embrace and love yourself. Put an end to all the self-questioning and self-doubting you humiliate yourself with. Accept yourself for who you are and stop seeking justification from within, and especially from others. In fact, if you find others having to justify themselves to you, I’d argue that’s probably a good thing. Indeed, the shoe IS on the other foot. Wear it proudly.

3 thoughts on “Whose Shoes Are These? (An Introspective Question)

  1. Years ago I learned this hard lesson of not justifying myself and not explaining my every action. I had to learn the act of non-action. It was harsh, but when you are firm in your beliefs nobody can shake them. So, I often wonder about people who get really rattled when their beliefs are questioned. I often wonder about people who talk about themselves in a self justifying manner constantly. Like they are trying to explain their very existance, which can never be proved anyway. The world is a mirror, though, so if this is what we are getting sent to us then we must question our own actions and correct it within first. (Glad to see I am listed in your side-bar – I am also working on my resources list. My problem is one of focus. Gotta work on that.)


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