I’m back to share the life lesson from yet another somewhat random tune from my running playlist, Build me up Buttercup by the Foundations.
Even though technically this one’s a bit before my time, (and yes, I do have songs on the playlist from this decade! I have teenagers, you know!) I’ve always loved this oldie but goodie. It’s a catchy tune, peppy beat, good to run or walk briskly to. However, when I really paid attention to the lyrics, I realized they aren’t super inspirational. It’s basically a guy talking about loving someone who constantly lets him down. It’s even worse because he goes on to say “I need you more than anyone darling, you know that I have from the start.” If I didn’t love the tune, that would be enough to make me take it off my playlist for good. It’s not healthy to really believe that you need someone else. Not want, not love not choose, but need?
Loving someone that lets you down again and again is pathological. I think that’s obvious to most of us who suffered through that bad boyfriend many years ago. We dusted ourselves off, got up and said, “Phew, lesson learned. I won’t make that mistake again.” And hopefully we didn’t… at least with another person.
But I’m willing to bet most of us out there are still holding on and even loving something that lets us down again and again. For me, it’s one more cookie or one more glass of wine. I think I will love it, but it invariably makes me feel terrible. Those of you who are lucky enough to not have reached the age where just one more cookie or second glass of wine makes you feel terrible, please make a note. In the future, this might happen to you. I really hope it doesn’t but it seems to happen to everyone I know at some point. When it does, comfort yourself with the knowledge that you are not alone.
But here’s another way you aren’t alone. Like everyone else on the planet, you have an amazing compass that is always there pointing you in the direction you should go, whether it be to have that cookie or to take the job or marry the guy. It’s your gut, your intuition, your deep sense of knowing that’s always available to you. Unfortunately, we tend to discount or flat out ignore our intuition a lot of the time. We think and think and think and at some point we come to the conclusion that all of our thoughts are true and that our thoughts are the sole source of data we need to make decisions.
“Should I have another cookie? I mean it’s just one more. What will it hurt. Everyone else is having another one. I should definitely have one too” and so it goes an endless stream of thoughts in your mind. But if you can quiet those thoughts for just a minute and feel into your body there’s a different answer. “Another cookie doesn’t appeal to me at all right now, thank you. I’d love a cup of tea though.”
Unfortunately, your intuition doesn’t actually use words, it just talks to you in feelings and most of us have become masters of ignoring our feelings. In Build me up Buttercup, we hear all the good thinking arguments, “I could be the boy you adore if you just let me…” But he also describes feeling let down again and again. I wonder if that feeling shouldn’t be telling him something?
Are you holding on to something even though it lets you down again and again? Are you trying to argue that it could be great when all evidence is showing you that it isn’t great? I wonder what might happen if you tried following your intuition. It will require you to pause. You can’t be on autopilot to follow your intuition. It requires a higher level of presence than we tend to use when we are grabbing another cookie or chip or piece of candy or are putting off exercise for one more day. You’ll have to actually FEEL into the moment. But besides pausing and getting present and asking yourself, “what do I really feel like right now?” It’s pretty simple. I encourage you to try it the next time you find yourself mindlessly doing something that you know will make you feel bad later. I think the pause might Build you up, Buttercup instead of letting you down, baby.
Give it a try. I’d love to hear how it goes for you. And as always, I’d love to hear what your running or walking or dancing around the house to these days. Share your comments and links below.