Sometimes the feelings just take over

I promise I won’t keep writing about my new car (like I did here and here), but there are so many life lessons coming from it that I feel it is my duty to share them. 

So, in early February I got stuck in the ice.  Really stuck.  It was dark.  It was cold.  I was tired.  I did not handle it well.   It would be appropriate to say that I became “unfit for human consumption.”  Luckily, only one person on the planet witnessed it.  Unluckily, it was my partner.

I have a part of me that I affectionately refer to as my “Hair on Fire Lady.”  This part of me, when I am feeling grounded, is a huge asset, organizing and taking action to great effect.  But when I am feeling out of control and overwhelmed, sometimes this part takes over my heart and mind with anxiety and judgment.  That was the case when the car got stuck and there was no clear solution.  “Hair on Fire Lady,” i.e. my anxiety and overwhelm, just took over – to not so great effect.  I simply didn’t have perspective.  The feelings were in charge.

The one good thing about my not good response to the situation is that I had to surrender.  There was nothing to be done that night, and my anger and fear at the situation wasn’t helping.  In the morning (after a good night’s sleep), we came up with a plan.  In fact, the plan came up on its own, and we followed it.  Honestly, my “Hair on Fire Lady” did not solve this one.  She usually doesn’t when I am not grounded.  But feeling more grounded, I had access to other feelings and thoughts that I did not the night before.  In fact, I felt such feelings as guilt, embarrassment, sadness.  But meditation teacher and writer Jon Kabat-Zinn says, “Don’t judge the judging.”  So I have not (mostly). 

Does this happen to you?  Do you have your version of a “Hair on Fire Lady”?  What works for you?