There is a great skit on YouTube titled “Stop It” starring the legendary actor, Bob Newhart. Newhart plays a psychotherapist who uses tough love on a patient when she comes in looking for cures for her various extreme fears that have taken over her life.
After listening to her go on about all her fears, Newhart answers (paraphrased), “I'm going to say two words to you right now. I want you to listen to them very, very carefully. Then I want you to take them out of the office with you and incorporate them into your life. Here they are. Stop it!” No matter what else she said, he would reply with the words, “Stop it!” It’s a great and funny skit and I would highly recommend that you watch it. (Google “Stop It! Bob Newhart.”)
Stop it! Seems so simple, right? But is it? We all have our fears, destructive behaviors, mental and emotional issues, limiting thoughts, habits, etc., some of which have probably been with us for years. With some of our issues, we are able to stop immediately. Others are not so easy and can take years to overcome, if at all.
One of my pet peeves is when someone says, “If I can do it, anyone can do it.” That is so NOT true. If someone can do something, that means its ‘possible’ for others to do it, but does not necessarily mean that anyone can do it. There are too many other factors involved such as physical or emotional traumas, as well as issues deep within someone’s subconscious mind that they may not even be aware of.
This is where compassion and understanding come in. We can encourage and support someone in just stopping whatever negative thoughts and/or behaviors they are dealing with, but we also can’t judge them if they are unable to do so. We don’t know their whole story or how deep their issues are, nor do we really know their state of mind.
Anyone with any kind of addiction can tell you how hard it is to just stop them. I’d say very few can stop suddenly. Some struggle for years trying to overcome them, even with professional help. And then there are those who never do win their battle. We also never really know what one’s soul came here to experience.
Whatever our issues, we need keep trying to do our best to overcome them. Albert Einstein said, “You never fail until you stop trying.” And tinybuddha.com states, “One day it just clicks. You realize what’s important and what isn’t. You learn to care less about what other people think of you and more about what you think of yourself. You realize how far you’ve come and you remember when you thought things were such a mess that you would never recover. And you smile. You smile because you are truly proud of yourself and the person you’ve fought to become.”
Published in the Cookeville Herald Citizen newspaper August 4, 2017.
Here is the video link for those who would like to view it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ow0lr63y4Mw