The “Other Shoe Syndrome”: My Own Reflections

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Not too long ago, I had a reading with my dear friend, Kathy Hawn of K & K Inspirations, who you met during the first episode of The Pause. At one point, I remember, she told me that I needed to stop “waiting for the other shoe to drop”. The “dreaded Other Shoe Syndrome”.

You know? Until she told me that, I hadn’t realized that it is something I have done – I want to say – “in the past”. The truth of the matter is, I still do.

I really hadn’t thought about it much again until I came across a post from The Tattooed Buddha this morning: Everything is Awesome, But…(Dealing with “Other Shoe Syndrome”).

For people who have been through trauma or were raised in dysfunctional homes where a parent’s mood can turn from warmth to wrath in the blink of an eye, other shoe syndrome is a coping mechanism designed to help you deal with sudden violent or frightening circumstances by preparing you ahead of time. It won’t keep a bad experience away, but at least you’ll be ready for it.

I had not even considered the “root cause” – why I wait for the “other shoe to drop” – until reading this post. But it is true… When you’re going through life and everything seems to be “hunky dory”, then – all of a sudden – your whole world seemingly explodes and you feel the need to run for cover.

I dealt with it as a child, and there have been some instances as an adult that I’ve run into it as well. “Things seemed to be going so well. Why didn’t I see it coming?” It really makes you second guess your sense of perception.

But, there are strategies for dealing with this shared in the post from The Tattooed Buddha.

  • Breathe

Got it! Breathing – strangely enough – is still a challenge for me to this day. Well, that’s not totally accurate. Breathing deeply is a challenge. At least on a consistent basis. There are, in fact, times when I need to remind myself to breathe. Particularly when I feel anxious.

  • Stay In the Moment

“Don’t be a time traveler.” I’ve gotten better about this over the years, but I do tend to project myself into the future more often than I’d like to admit. Thus explains the anxiety, right? *winks*

  • Schedule Your Focus

No matter how much we wish that the grimy aspects of life would just go away, they don’t. They’re always there to deal with, even when we procrastinate or deny them. Believe me! I’ve tried to make them go away in the past – pretend that they don’t exist. The problem is that they remain there, often growing in size in the time that they’re ignored.

One of my dear friends calls attending to the things we don’t like “eating the frogs”.

They don’t go away. We may as well “eat” them while they’re still small.

The post at The Tattooed Buddha goes into much more detail. This is just my take and reflections on it. You can read the post in its entirety on The Tattooed Buddha website.

So, do you ever find yourself waiting for the other shoe to drop? Do you suffer from “other shoe syndrome”?

While I’m already aware of the strategies suggested, I do think I’ll work to be more mindful of them.

Until next time, dear friend, may your frogs be small in size!

~Dawna

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