Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Telling the Truth Tuesday - Getting off the roller coaster

Do you ever find yourself riding someone else's roller coaster ride? I mean, your emotions, your thoughts, your feelings are all about someone else, so if they are up, you're up, if they're down, you're down. Well, I was doing that for the past few months and I realized I can't do that - I'm no good for anyone. I'm on my own roller coaster and I can't be on two rides at the same time. What I need to do is wait at the bottom for the other person and either share their exhilaration or comfort them in their pain. Waiting can be hard, but definitely not harder than riding a ride that isn't mine.

How about you?


Paul Anthony Shortt said...

Oh yes. I've been there. I have a bit of a knight-in-shining-armour complex and like to think of myself as always being the one my friends can turn to anytime they need help.

You know what I realised recently? Sometimes I need to be my own knight in shining armour, my own hero, and save myself before I can be any good for my friends.

Joanne said...

I've found that as I ride my own roller coaster, if someone really needs to find me, they will.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Now that is incredibly wise! We have to distance ourselves or get sucked into the confusion.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

What a great way of putting it, Karen! And a very smart way of handling the situation.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen... yes - it's not easy to recognise that we can say "no" and as you say wait. Time will sort out - after all we have our own lives to lead .. Glad you're getting your head straight again, as well as your emotions back ... cheers Hilary

Karen Walker said...

Paul, I love that, being your own knight in shining armor.
Joanne, I am just now realizing that - you're so wise
Alex, exactly right.
Elizabeth, I was jumping up and down when this way of thinking about it came to me because it's visceral.

L.G.Smith said...

I have a sister who is even more of a drama queen than I am. I've had to distance myself from her life over the past few years, or else risk getting sick all over the ride from the constant ups and downs.

Karen Walker said...

Hilary, it wasn't really saying no to the other person. They didn't ask me to ride with them. It was me realizing that's what I do -
L.G. it's even harder with family members, isn't it?

Angela Felsted said...

Definitely harder with family members. I try to keep a cool head with those close to me, but sometimes it's hard.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

If we ride another's roller coaster we lose ourselves, and not in a good way.

I do like real roller coasters, though!

Karen Walker said...

Angela, it's definitely the hardest for me.
Diane, I know you do - I thought about you when I thought of this metaphor.

K.C. Woolf said...

Great metaphor, and certainly recognisable. The past few years I've gotten better at distancing myself from the emotions of people I care about - sometimes too much even. Maybe I'll find a good balance some time in the future. ;-)

Belle said...

Wise words!

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I was on a most perculiar rollercoaster ride starting 14 years ago, First my first grandchild was born oh the joy my husband and I had holding him for the first time. Then 10 days later my mother passed away, I felt hearbroken but knew my husband would look after me, then 3 days later her was diagnosed with terminal cancer and I felt that ride going right to the bottom, he passed away 2 months after mum. Months later my daughter announced she was pregnant mixed happy feelings grieving on one hand excited on the other, Harry was born on the Christmas Eve and Josh my first grandchild had a brother on the 8 th Jan just two weeks after Harry, I was on a high then to put the icing on the cake the following year my only grand daughter was born on my birthday albiet 10 weeks prem but she made it. My roller coaster ride has been continuing ever since, highs and lows but to every negative problem there is a postivie solution. That's how I get through life.

Karen Walker said...

KC, yes, it's all about balance, isn't it?
Belle, thank you
Yvonne, oh my gosh - I knew some of this but not all. You are one strong woman!

Tracy Makara said...

Sure have been on that ride...too many times. I have this built in caretaker gene which I battle all the time...plus a high degree of empathy. It took me a while to be able to distinguish my own feelings from someone else's because I feel them so strongly. It still hits me like a ton of bricks but at least now I can catch it pretty quickly most of the time. You are right that the best thing that we can do is to wait for others to finish their own ride and not hopping on it with them completely.