Keep Calm and Carry On

A reminder to my inner conditioning

The mentality is “Keep Calm and Carry on” or we can translate this to say, “suck it up and keep going.” Shake it off and continue. I was listening to BBC and they were interviewing people after the alleged terrorist drove recklessly on the bridge intentionally killing 3 and injuring more than 40 others. The people said, (not a direct quote) “[we have to keep going. We have to go to work, business cannot stop. We can’t give the terrorists the satisfaction of affecting us. We can’t be wimps.]” That last part about being wimps is a direct quote.

I think this mentality is killing us.

It’s definitely how I’ve been raised and how we’ve probably all been raised. Even as a very young child I remember embracing the mentality of “don’t let them see you cry. Don’t show weakness. They are trying to break you down. Suck it up and keep going.” You were bullied at school? Don’t let the bully win, go back to school. Your spouse or parent died? Keep going. Back to work. The only way through it is to keep going. Keep going. Keep going.

Like a hamster on a wheel running to nowhere.

And I get it. Of course I get it. I’ve been conditioned to get it. We have to keep going. We can’t let a downfall or upset break us. We can’t fall into a pit of despair. We can’t wallow in our sorrow turning to drugs and alcohol. We can’t stop going to work, putting a kink in the machine, letting all hell break loose. Bills unpaid, mortgage unpaid, lost poor and on the streets. Broke. Homeless. Dependent.

Because we’ve been taught it’s one or the other.

If I think of times of war, of the great depression, the trail of tears. If I think of people in a constant war zone, in a country of great oppression, in the past history of our own country. Slaves, Natives, theft, unforgivable murder. I get it. You have to keep going. If you let it get to you, if you stop, you will be destroyed. Your people will be abolished. And survival is an instinct of all creatures. And natives keep fighting, but they’re all but destroyed. And slaves kept working, and built up the country that enslaved them. That continues to persecute them.

But I got off topic. Now, today, in the United States, why do we keep going? Why do we continue to follow the mentality of not showing weakness? Of not giving in? Of keep going, keep working? Pick yourself up and don’t stop? For what? Because we’re afraid if we stop we’ll crumble? If we stop we’ll lose our job? Become broke, homeless, and dependent? And why do we believe this? Because it’s been bred into us to keep the system going? As a conspiracy? As leftover DNA programming from the past? Or because it’s fact?

Keep going. Never taking time to question, to process, to heal.

Don’t stop until you’re beaten so far down it’s impossible to continue on. Until you’ve run yourself so ragged you’re ill, injured, or even worse – you’ve got cancer. Even then, only stop if you have to. Taking the necessary days to heal just enough, and then yea, you guessed it, keep going.

We’re stressed from work, our children, our spouses, families, the state of the world, our own misgivings. We go and go, not taking time to reflect, to digest. A divorce, a family illness, a death, whatever. Get yr shit together and keep going.

And when it piles on so much that eventually we break, our emotional and mental anguishes manifesting as physical ailments – we get the flu, pneumonia, throw our back out, break an arm, whatever – our bodies demand we take a break. Take the time we needed long ago that we continually ignored. But at this point, it’s too late. Our focus is not on processing our stress, dealing with our emotions, analyzing our deprecating thoughts. Our attention is completely overwhelmed by our pain, our discomfort. We are now too ill to even begin to look at the mental state that has been bogging us down. So we heal our bodies and go back to polluting our minds.

Why not take the time we need when we need it? Do you ever feel stressed from work, from life, overwhelmed by your own thoughts and emotions. Like maybe if I could just have a day or 2 to myself to reflect and process all that’s going on. If I could just have a break, take a breath. A mental health day. But more than likely the other part of you says you can’t. You can still keep going. If you take a day off now, you might not have 1 later when you need it more. Or if you take a day off you don’t get paid and you need the money. Or if you take a day off, the work will get backed up and just make it that much harder on you when you go back. People are relying on us. We have to do our part. There is always an excuse to why we can’t take that time we need. Is it because we’re afraid of ourselves? Afraid to look inward? To deal with our own lives, thoughts, emotions, and shortcomings? Because it’s easier to just keep going then to stop and face life head on? Because we’re so caught up in the go, go, go mentality? Like parents with kids. A parent would rather just tie the kids shoes for them until they’re 10 years old, then stop and take 20 minutes to teach the child how to do it themselves. And yea, growth is hard. The child will scream and yell and throw a fit, because they don’t want to be challenged. They don’t want to grow up, they don’t want to struggle. And we as parents, don’t want to watch them struggle, don’t have the patience to deal with their frustrated cries of “No!” Can’t listen to their whining and complaining. So we do it for them. It’s easier in the right now, but we forget it’s harder in the long term. And if we do take the time to teach our children, if we do persevere and take the time out to be with them, sit with them, and patiently walk them through the steps, our children are so proud. So happy, and walk a little bit taller. And for us too it’s easier. Now we don’t have to take that extra time out of our lives to hold their hand, to tend to them. It’s one less thing for us to manage. I see this as us. We are both the child and the adult. The child is our inner self that needs to grow, to learn, to process. Needs a few minutes of coddling, hand holding, and teaching so that it can grow. But we don’t take the time, we grab the child’s hand and drag them out to the car, throw them in the seat, buckle them up, and drive away. Because we’re busy, there’s things to do, we don’t have time for lollygagging. But if we could slow down, let the child get into the car themselves, learn to buckle themselves, let them take care of themselves, the day would be so much less stressful for everyone.

When I go to work, but I’m preoccupied with other things on my mind, my production is lessened. When I’m home with a partner or kids or friends even, but I’m preoccupied, the quality of our interactions is lessened. Why not stop. Take some time. Take a day off work. Take a week. Whatever you need to process. To do some inner work, to meditate, go for a walk in the woods, find your baring on life. Not to just find a way to suck it up and keep going, not to just veg out on video games, but to do some real reflection. Go into your thoughts and find your peace.

But there’s never time, right?

Work, and kids, and home, and laundry, cooking, dishes, cleaning, shopping, family… This go, go, go, don’t stop, is it conditioning? Programming? A conspiracy to prevent us from thinking? It’s all illogical because we would be much happier, healthier individuals if we just took the time we needed and if our lives, jobs, and spouses recognized and encouraged this. If we had a society set up to believe that taking care of our whole selves was essential. The world will not collapse if you don’t show up to work. If you get behind in work, it will be there, it’s not going anywhere. And deadlines? Are they really that important? It’s just an arbitrary date.

We live in fear of losing our job, losing our spouse, losing our home, not being good enough. Not doing enough. Always doing until the point of collapse. This is not a healthy system.

I get it. We can’t just wallow in every emotion. We can’t indulge in alleged ‘me’ time. We can’t allow every little thing to bring us down and hold us back. But those little things pile up when ignored, those emotions build up when ignored. And no one ever gets healed when they wait till the point of collapse.

At that point you now have medical bills, car bills, – yr sick and went to the doctor, you hurt yr back and went to the chiropractor, you were frustrated and crashed your car, whatever – you let your mind and emotions get so bad that now its manifested into the physical. Now its costing you money and time anyway. But that money and time goes into fixing the immediate problem. A band aid if you will. Rinse. Wash. Repeat. You could have spent less time and less money if you have had just stopped. Just stop. And take time for yourself. Not wallow depressive time. Because its gotten so bad that now you need pills, or can’t function because yr so depressed. No, take time when you first notice you need it. Don’t put it off. If you’re car is making weird sounds when you hit the breaks – are you going to wait until the breaks don’t work and you crash into someone on the highway before you finally realize there was a problem you should have dealt with? Or will you take your car to the shop and get the brakes looked at?

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One thought on “Keep Calm and Carry On

  1. Hello W,

    You made some good points in this post, more people need to question things like this, because there are many flaws like this in the mainstream cultures and systems et cetera of this world that need to be questioned and fixed / changed / et cetera.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts,
    -John Jr

    Liked by 1 person

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