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Sully: Hang in there. Toby: Hang...

Posted Sep 12 2008 6:28pm

Sully: Hang in there.
Toby: Hang in there? That’s the sum of your wisdom on the subject?
Sully: That’s the sum of my wisdom on most subjects.
~ Nobody’s Fool (film) written by Robert Benton 1994

Sometimes the simplest advice is the best. When we don’t know what to do, we should do nothing. When we are overwhelmed by the enormity of our tasks and the state of our lives, we should look at things one day at a time or one hour at a time or one minute at a time. It is imperative, a lot of times, to bring the solution down to the simplest task and the smallest measure of time otherwise looking at everything will just paralyze us.

Sometimes we need to “hang in there” when we are not sure what is coming up next. We need to be okay with just “being” still and waiting. We need to let life unfold itself to us. More will be revealed.

When I was in post-separation arguments with my ex-husband and his constant harangue would unglue me, my therapist said, “Hang up the phone.” Hang up the phone? What simple advice that I’d never even thought of but once I took it and knew it was okay, I felt so much better.

She told me a ringing phone is a request and not a command and to this day, I use that advice in my life to shut off all communications with the outside world when I need “me” time. It was some of the best advice I’ve ever been given.

When my kids were in junior high and sometimes tortured by classmates calling with the craziest of dramas (for junior high dramas are probably the craziest of dramas) I would say to them, “Hang up the phone.” They would look at me like “Oh? Is that the answer? I didn’t know…” and hang up the phone.

Sometimes when we are the caller, the solution is to do anything but call. Sit on your hands if you must, but don’t call. Don’t call? Sounds simple. Not easy, but simple.

Having a bad day? Hang in there.

Upset by someone’s criticism of you? What they think of you is none of your business.

Afraid to walk into a room? Act like you own the place.

Although these might sound like trivial solutions to huge problems, it is often the simplest solution that works the best.

Let it go.

Just do it.

One day at a time.

In 12 step programs they call these slogans and there are a lot of slogans. Not trite but true and well-worn statements.

Sometimes being wise is to know to listen to the simple but true solution.

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