We were walking our little dog today. It was a beautiful spring day and we were enjoying the outdoors. We noticed that our puppy stopped to smell every pile of poop along the way. As counselors, we often help people to deal with the “poop” (the stuff that stinks–abuse, addictions, trauma, etc.) in their life. It made for an interesting comparison. What makes dogs want to smell poop? The bigger question is why do people choose to stop in their “poop” instead of walking on and leaving it behind?
Aren’t we always encouraged to ‘Stop and smell the roses along the way?’ But, isn’t that how it goes sometimes–we actually wallow around in the “poop” of life? We use substances or behaviors to medicate that “poop” rather than getting it cleaned up and cleared out.
Unfortunately, what happens is that we get use to the “smell” don’t we? We become accustom to the ‘poop’ in our life, we don’t notice the stench, and sometimes we accept it as if it is the most natural thing ever. We stop seeing it as ‘poop’ and start to make excuses to others when they make any mention of the “smell” of the problem (addiction). We might withdraw and isolate so that no one can get close enough to take in the whiff of our issues. Before we know it, we are believing the lie that the “poop” doesn’t really stink. Why do we choose to indulge the putrid, decaying old ways of coping instead of embracing life, cleaning up the “crap” and changing our perceptions–and ultimately our realities. Why is it so hard to invest in ourselves to get the help we need?