Dr. Deb’s Mental Health Vitamin: The highway of life
Dr. Deb Wade
GCU Vice President, Counseling and Psychological Services
Have you ever noticed the proliferation of signs that dot our streets and thoroughfares? The other day, perhaps in one of my more cerebral moments, I began to consider what our life journey would be like if similar signs were posted along “life’s highway.” As we navigate down our highway of life, what would some of the familiar signs mean? I came up with some ideas; I welcome yours! Imagine with me …
“YIELD” – How handy this would be in the middle of a conflict, when there seems to be no apparent hope of solution in sight and there is increased escalation each moment, to be told when and how to end it? Just yield!
“LANE ENDS, MERGE LEFT” – How helpful to have advanced notice that the choice you’re about to make is going nowhere productive and you are about to end up in a ditch … then, to be assisted with the next direction change and happily continue with your journey.
“STOP” – When life becomes overwhelming, the pace is furious and energy expended seems unfocused and lacks direction, this command leaves little to misinterpretation – just stop and breathe!
“NARROW BRIDGE AHEAD” – Oh, to be warned when the most valued of relationships is strained – and needs extra tending, comforting and reassuring. Just saddle up together along the narrowness of this life issue … and survive it, together!
“DANGEROUS CURVES AHEAD” – Whoops! Life has become tricky, temptation abounds, common sense has gone haywire – a neon sign to warn, caution and re-direct would sure restore sanity.
“DIP” – Just when a comfort zone gets cozy, life seems grand and all is predictable, a notice to warn of turbulence ahead could certainly allow time to fasten the seat belt of life and prepare for the uncertainty of the path ahead.
“SPEED LIMIT” – To guard against an erratic pace, an over-spirited tempo or even a lethargic lull, a reminder that a steadfast, focused, predictable stride for the safest and surest journey would help everyone.
“NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH” – How wonderful to be reminded to care for one another, attend to each other’s needs, stay attentive and be vigilant and alert toward others.
“PRIVATE DRIVE” – Even in the most hectic of schedules, in the most demanding of lifestyles, it’s important to remember that private moments can serve to center, to calm, to restore and to unruffle.
Yes, signs and reminders could certainly serve a fascinating purpose in our quest to navigate along some uncertain highways and freeways of life. Why? Life can be harsh, can be difficult, can be hazardous, can be threatening and can be full of potholes and uncertainty. Surrounding each of us are myriad choices, valued and esteemed relationships, risks and ruts, challenges and chance. Heed the signs! And remember, if you miss one, it’s always OK to stop and ask for directions.