"Murphy’s Lie", falling shoes and other barriers to Happiness

We all know “Murphy” of “Murphy’s Law”. The law that states whatever can go wrong , will. It guards against undue optimism and enjoyment, reminds us not to be too happy or something bad might happen. And if we do happen to enjoy some success Murphy is standing behind us whispering in our ear.  Murphy is the Eyore, The Debbie Downer, the archetypal Sad Sack. He tells us to fear not only failure, but success as well, because after all, according to him it will all eventually turn out badly; inevitably the other shoe will fall.
Many people are familiar with this mind set, this legacy of overworked caution, but no one has perfected it more adeptly that children of Alcoholics, and with good reason.
Growing up with an alcoholic parent involves learning to negotiate ones way through a maze of mixed messages, to maintain balance on the fault line of shifting boundaries and to be able to become invisible when its safer than being seen, or heard.
One can only be invisible for so long before she begins to fade, the more parts of You that you hide, the less accessible they become. The more we fade, the less we believe that we need, or deserve. So naturally two things happen; our cloak of invisibility becomes a barrier that filters out not only the negative but everything else as well. We create an energetic block that prevents us from receiving Love, Prosperity and anything else pleasant that might come our way. If some amount of Love or good fortune sneaks it’s way past out armor, we quickly recoil. “How did that get in here?!’ as if a snake had slithered it’s way under our bed. We are uncomfortable with it’s presence, it frightens us because we don’t quite know what to do with it. What we do know is how to sabotage it, one way or another, to make it go away so we can remain safe in our familiar belief system known as Murphy’s Law. Like so many other lies society teaches us, we have incorporated it into our core set of beliefs so deeply that we don’t even think to question it.

Once we begin to recognize Murphy’s Law for what it is, the rusty old remains of an obsolete coping mechanism, we see that it is really Murphy’s Lie.  Like any other step on the road to personal growth, health and recovery recognition and acknowledgement is the first step.  many will tell you the first step is the hardest, I don’t know that’s necessarily true, but I think it is the most disruptive. It rattles our cage, it challenges our inner Eyore, it throws us a little off balance. But once the cage stops rattling, and Eyore calms down and we get our “sea legs” we can begin the next stage of acceptance, we can stop judging ourselves and get down to the philosophy of “it is what it is, and it ain’t what it ain’t” and we are on the path that will eventually lead us to be able to accept being Happy when we are Happy to be in that Moment  not give a thought to Mopey Murphy and his proverbial falling shoe.

© 2010 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard


About nanakoosa

Me...I am a trained Advocate and Counselor with 20 years experience working with Youth and Families. My most recent employment brought me to the field of Domestic and Sexual Violence Counseling and support. I myself am a Survivor of violence and have been on both side of the service desk, which provides for a unique, often conflicting, theoretical orientation. I am a regular blogger, journal keeper and story teller. My current focus is to give voice to the experiences of survivors, to shine some light in the dark corners of family life where all the spiders and creepy things hide. I also enjoy writing about my unconventional childhood in the tumultuous 60's and am dabbling in memoir writing. I have three wonderful children, two fabulous granddaughters and an assortment of pets. View all posts by nanakoosa

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