A Hard Pill to Swallow?

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Today my nine-year-old daughter made her first attempt at swallowing a ‘grown up’ pill. The sting that sealed her eye shut necessitated the antibiotic, and she swore she was old enough to give up liquid ‘baby medicine.’ She and I had an orientation of sorts—me giving her step-by-step instructions on how to effortlessly swallow a pill.

Before she even attempted this ‘first’, she began to seriously fuss, whine and whimper as she whipped herself up into quite the state. Her mantra was “I can’t do this!” “It’s too hard!” “I changed my mind.” “I’m going to choke to death!” Pill on tongue, water glass in hand, she cried and tantrum-ed and, predictably, had one hell of a time actually getting the pill down her throat. Okay, so it was a parenting nightmare.

Watching her, I kept thinking that it would have been so easy had she just taken a deep centering breath, followed my instructions, trusted her ability to handle it, and assumed it would be effortless.

Wait just a minute. Did I just think that? Mid-slurp I realized that my precious daughter was mirroring my struggle with my yet to be completed book. Who was the teacher?

Month after month, week after week I’ve been struggling to finish THE BOOK. Watching my daughter, I realized how much energy I’ve spent on hemming and hawing, on complaining and postponing, on excuses and lamentations. I’d worked myself up into a frenzy more times than I can remember. Was my book my hard pill to swallow? And was I making it that way?

Before my daughter had even wiped the spit off her chin, I’d asked myself some tough questions. What if I were to put all that distracted energy into writing? Into making myself accountable to my own deadlines? Into carving out time from my busy schedule to write it instead of talking about it? Hhmmm.

That our self-talk creates our reality is old news. Or is it? How often do we stop and get a grip on this reality we call our own? Do we really ‘get’ the correlation between what we think or say and the results we achieve (or don’t) in our lives? Is ‘IT’ truly hard or do we just decide it is? Is the career change unattainable or do we just think it is? Is passion with profit impossible or was that our decision?

And making this decision? Maybe it’s just another pill to swallow.

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