Manifest Your Inner Shmooby Ruth Gordon, LCSW
Okay, life’s been complicated and tough. Of course, it always has been that way, but no one told us that when we were growing up. We thought if we just followed the yellow brick road that a genuine Wizard of Oz who was all-powerful would solve all of our problems. Wrong! So, what’s a human to do?
Well, the shmoo was put on earth to spread love and to please those who needed him/her. So, how do we get in touch with the shmoo of peace and serenity?
Those of you who are able to maintain your optimism regardless of what’s going on around you probably don’t need to read the rest of this. My guess is that even the most positive of you have, at some time or another, felt like you just couldn’t handle one more setback.
Let’s take a look at what life’s had to offer in the past couple of years. If we were invested in the stock market, we’ve lost money. If we invested in real estate, we’ve lost money. Many of us who have never been jobless before have found ourselves out of work and carrying more debt, with fewer assets to pay it off, than we had ever imagined. We cannot, of course, predict what Mother Nature might bring our way. We can fervently implore her to spare us flood, fire, hurricanes and tornados, but usually she just does whatever she wants. We do know that our environment is deteriorating and want to live “green”, but it all can get pretty confusing. Now, just as we congratulate ourselves for holding on to our relationships and health, along comes the swine flu to scare us half to death, with talk of a possible pandemic. Whoa!
How much more can we take? As much as we need to. Some of us will retreat into old, seemingly comforting behavior like drinking too much, gambling too much, excessively depending on drugs to help us handle our fears, etc. Probably anything that’s got “too much” attached to it will end up biting us back at some point in time.
During times like these I would suggest you call up your inner shmoo and let him/her know that you need help RIGHT NOW. That’s the shmoo’s job — to reassure us and help us find our own tranquility. The shmoo is there to remind us that we are all built to be resilient. We may have more confidence in our suppleness when we are children and have not formed habits that encourage us believe we cannot live without this or that, but our ability to bend with the wind is still there, and we must begin to believe this, or our fear of breaking will, engulf us and leave us feeling that our feet have been sunk in cement and we are helpless to move.
I’m not implying that contacting the shmoo is easy. It is certainly less complicated for some of us than others. From my point of view, I don’t think the speed with which we reach “shmooville” is all that important. Cliché as it may sound, it really is about the journey and not the destination.
It’s so hard to realize that each of us is perfect just as we are. That doesn’t mean we may not wish to change some of our ways of doing things, but, it does mean that, regardless of what we’ve come to believe about ourselves, each of us has everything we need already in place.
Look, the people (likely our parents) who taught us that we were “bad”, disappointing, or, perhaps, looked to us to possess certain traits that they were never able to acquire, were simply, wonderfully, human. I doubt that there are very many parents who, looking at their newborn, say, “Gee, I can’t wait to mess with this kid’s head!”.
I cannot tell you how often, in my work, when I tell someone that they are exactly who they were meant to be, the tears start to flow. This reaction is wonderful and painful to experience. Wonderful, because that means that my client is considering the possibility that this might be true and painful, because this truth has never before been given credence. So many of our colleagues walk around believing that they are truly bad people. It’s quite sad. In fact, although I really don’t like labels, the “good” people outnumber the “bad” people by far.
Obviously the shmoo is a symbol. Symbols arise because we need them. As a rule, we don’t trip ourselves up because we think too much of ourselves; it’s a result of honoring ourselves too little.
Please, in good times and bad, try to remember there’s a really good and valuable person who resides in your skin. Should you forget, just call up the shmoo.Therapist Directory. This article may not be reprinted, reproduced, or retransmitted in whole or in part without the express written consent of the author.