Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Mental 'Shhht'

You all had to read that title twice, didn't you? Admit it. I know you did a double take. But no, I wasn't swearing.

I was pulling that Dog Whisperer sound on myself.

So, I told you yesterday about my new obsession with that show... but as I was watching and listening to his philosophy on dog psychology (stop laughing... there is such a thing as dog psychology) I realized that what he was doing with his dog is what I've been doing mentally to myself for a long time.

Stick with me. I swear I'll start making sense.

Some of you have emailed and asked me how I got to this point of accepting where I am, and it's been hard for me to figure out how to answer that question. It's a process; everyone is different in how they process things in their lives. But one thing I have always believed is that once you know better, you can't pretend to be ignorant anymore. I've told you all before that I've had my moments of exhaustion when I've wondered when it was going to be my turn to have the nervous breakdown I so deserve... but the breakdown never comes because I just can't pretend not to know better.

I can't pretend that God isn't going to take care of me. I can't pretend that I'm not going to have what I need when I need it. I can't pretend like I'm alone in all of this. I simply know better.

And that's when the mental "shhht" comes into play.

When the Dog Whisperer is trying to redirect a dog's focus, he makes his 'shhht' noise and gives them a tap on their chest or their back leg to snap them out of the moment. Once a dog is focused, he is blind to everything else but the object of his attention. The sound and the tap knock the dog's brain back into a normal state where the Dog Whisperer can then redirect.

As soon as the negative thoughts start coming into play for me... the whole, "I don't think I can do this for another day without losing my sanity and grip on reality" thing... my brain gives me a mental 'shhht' and it's replaced with, "You don't have to do this for another day; God's doing this for you... you just have to keep showing up."

My friend Heidi recently asked me if I ever write a post, make it positive and think to myself, "What a load of crap... this just sucks and there's nothing positive about it."

While the question made me laugh, the answer is no.

There is no doubt that there are days I feel like this: IMG_0730

And while, in the beginning, I would have to consciously stop myself and remind myself of the good things, remind myself that God knows what He's doing... it eventually became an automatic 'shhht' response in my head. The thought comes, the 'shhht' happens and my thought changes. I don't know if that works for everyone. I don't know if that makes sense to you, but it's how it works for me. I made a choice at some point to remind myself of the good instead of the bad, and it eventually became an automatic response.

And now, after writing this, I'm seriously thinking of making t-shirts that say "Shhht Happens." Anyone want to buy one? :)


  1. oh for sure I'd like a shirt that says "shht happens" ... or maybe a tile : )

  2. Love it. And I WOULD wear a Shhhht Happens Tee! And Denise's canvas idea is great too. I wouldn't be surprised if Cesear would like the idea too!

    I wish I had words to tell you how you inspire me! Thank you for sharing your amazing gift of expression. Thank you so much for what I am learning from your story.

  3. Today, at this exact moment, I needed to hear that. This sounds stupid but I'm in perimenapause and some weeks without warning my hormones just misfire...I am fine one day and the next ready to drink the "kool-aid" and end it all. In my mind, I know it's hormonal, but it's a battle. Sometimes for days. Nothing like where you are for the love of pete...

    God's taking care of me...I just show up.
    Thank you Sweet girl ~ Love love love~
    ps...I'd soooo buy a shirt or 7.

  4. Dealing with chronic illness is difficult! I'd have to say in the beginning I did keep begging to God to make it better. I did have many pity parties. Now though I hope I am at the same place you are - acceptance. God is control and HE makes no mistakes. (please know that I am not comparing our illnesses)

    AND that tshirt is MINE!!

    Thanks for the great words today.

  5. I'd love one....I think Riley would need a matching one in doggy size!!!

  6. I've been following your blog for a few months and I want to leave a comment today. I loved your writing today, my husband has ankylosing spondylitis too. Funny how you learn very fast to say and spell those words!!! It's hard to stop the negative thoughts and maybe the shht idea will help! THANKS FOR THE INSPIRATION!

  7. Great explanation! I think my husband is like "the wife whisperer." I am the one who goes off he deep end, always imagining the illogical and disastrous turns the future is sure (in my mind) to take. He is the one who has the "shhht" effect on me, snapping me back into the realization that things are really okay. No matter how they turn out.

    But I wouldn't say no to a t-shirt. You'd have to package them with an explanation, but I'll bet they'd sell like hotcakes once people understood what they mean, lol.

  8. The t-shirt idea is hilarious!

    Turning a willful decision into an automatic response - that's the key, isn't it? I like the way you brought that into focus - I needed to hear that. I already have many automatic responses, but in the areas I struggle, that's the place I need to get to. I need more "shhht"! :)

  9. Wow, you can do that all in your head? I would so require the rubber band around my wrist to "snap" me back to reality. Or a t-shirt. Brilliant!

    Your analogies really help keep me grounded and give me such a new perspective. Thanks for the lesson! Would you look at the face on Riley! You so got that one right!

  10. Now that post will preach! I get that. Been there. Do that. It's the verse that says "Take every thought captive." What an awesome example you are.

    P.S. When is there going to be a picture of you?

  11. This is such a great post! I believe we all have to do this to some form or another, don't dwell on the bad and see the positives. I feel if we want a healthy self-image we need to do this. Thank you for the reminder.

  12. Great post today....once I needed that. I think I would take a t-shirt or two....Have a great day!

  13. I'd buy a t-shirt! I totally get it and I love the way you expressed it. I do the mental shhht, but sometimes not as quick as I should. Thanks for the reminder.

    P.S. I got my "Choose Joy" canvas in the mail today that I won. I love it! Thank you!!!

  14. Hi Sara - I got my canvas in the mail today. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It really made my day!

    I need you to come an shhht me!

  15. you amaze me. and i don't say that lightly.

  16. Great post as always. And yes! I would buy one! (but you'd need to put that dog whisperer's name on the back of the shirt so I didn't have to keep explainin' things).

    Thanks for always being so positive--it really ministers to my heart.

  17. If your "Shhht Happens" t-shirt, or canvas, has Riley on it they will sell like hot cakes.

  18. I realized, while reading, that I do this too! I'm also disabled, and people always talk about how positive I am.. and I just this minute figured it out! He will always be there.. He will always be in control, He will always love me 100%, He will always know what I need, and give it to me! Thanks..
    I'd love a T shirt with that on it, too!

  19. I love it! I'll buy one. Will it have a pic of you and Riley?

    Seriously, this was a great blog. I will be thinking of the mental "Shhht" for days, at least. I have heard of taking thoughts captive, but a mental "Shhht"? That is genius, Sara.

  20. You people I was kidding about the t-shirt thing, but I've had two friends email me now to see if I need to find a screen printer. :)

    You all make life so much fun!

  21. Wow! I am inspired & can only tell you what a blessing your are! I found your web site yesterday for the first time and loved reading about the dog whisper - it took me a while to find you again this evening but I wanted to share that story with my husband. You have been in thoughts all day & now you will be in prayers tonight! We are in the process of adopting a little boy & I would love to add your web site to my blog!! Thank you!! Robin

  22. that's a great tshirt idea! stumbled on your blog. really like it. I need that mental shhhhhht all the time. Thx.