I have a spoon in my utensil drawer that has met the whirling garbage disposal. It has jagged edges now, not like a spoon should be. A spoon needs to be smooth and curved to do it’s job well. The sharp, ragged edges cut the lips and mouth. It can still hold food and transport it my mouth, and it hurts. I think, every time I see the spoon, “why do I still have that spoon?” Yet, I leave it in the drawer. Sometimes bury it under the “good” spoons.
I believe that a lot of people have tools they keep and don’t use. I think that we, as people, tend to hold onto a lot of things that we don’t need or even, perhaps, hurt us. I imagine this spoon as metaphor for coping skills or behaviors that we choose to hold onto, even though they may hurt us.
When you open your drawer of go-to, even thoughtless, behaviors, reactions, coping skills, do you look at what you grab? Are your reactions instinctual? Do you sometimes end up with the jagged spoon? Cutting and hurting yourself in the process of protecting yourself? Thinking “it will work just fine – if I do what I always have done.”
Eventually, we might need new spoons.
The jagged sharp spoon did not start that way. It was good, until it wasn’t. How do you decide when a behavior or coping skill is not for you anymore? How can you tell if you are hurting yourself? Generally this comes after a behavior or reaction. It is a matter of self reflection and paying attention to what you do. If you find you continue to behave in the same way, which sometimes hurts you, you might want to look at some new tools, new ways to do things.