My Wardrobe, Myself

The intersection of clothing, emotions, and life

I just got back from a doctor’s visit concerning my most recent health challenge. I have a sore and scratchy throat and a cough, and I’m having ever increasing difficulty in swallowing. I feel as if I have a lump in my throat and have had a few experiences of almost choking in recent days. Needless to say, this is both troubling and scary. Unfortunately, my general practitioner could not ascertain the problem or its cause, so I now have an appointment to see a specialist next week to explore the matter further.

This is just the latest in a long litany of health issues for me. I have come to feel that it’s always something. Just when I feel that things are improving, something else seems to crop up! The main reason I started my “healing project” a few months ago was to try to overcome my laundry list of health woes.

Today’s post focuses on a concept introduced by author Dennis Prager in his book, “Happiness is a Serious Problem.” I highly recommend this book as a concise and extremely informative book on the often elusive subject of happiness. Dennis presents a number of life-changing philosophies in his book, but one of the best is the concept of the “missing tile syndrome.”
Imagine this Scenario…

Imagine that you are in a dentist’s office having your teeth cleaned and are thus focused on the ceiling above you. As you glance around the room, you notice that one of the ceiling tiles is missing. Although the majority of the ceiling is pristine and perfect, you would likely be transfixed upon that one missing tile for the remainder of your visit.

As human beings, we have a tendency to focus on what is missing instead of on what is present. That is fine for ceilings, as they can be perfect. The danger is when we apply the same focus and filter to our lives…

Last week, I wrote the post “Overspending,” about a recent shopping trip that resulted in my spending too much money and feeling that I had acted in a compulsive manner. Although there were important lessons inherent in that individual experience, it also raised the issue of compulsive behavior in general. This post is geared toward examining compulsive behavior, getting to the root of why we engage in such destructive actions, and looking at what we can do to begin to turn it around.
Compulsiveness Takes Many Forms…

I shared about my shopping and spending issues, but these are far from the only forms of compulsive behaviors with which I’ve struggled. I’ve also engaged in compulsive overeating, dieting, and exercising, and spending too much time working or surfing the internet, among other things. You may have grappled with similar issues, or you may have had problems with drinking, drugs, gambling, sex, or any number of other maladaptive behaviors. It doesn’t matter which of these behaviors has plagued you, the problem is usually rooted in the same causes.

Most of us have things about ourselves which we don’t like or even hate, and we often waste a lot of time and energy resisting or fighting these things. For most of my life, one of my “hates” has been my hair. I have very thick hair, so thick that hairstylists have often commented that I had enough hair for two or three people. In addition, my hair is naturally wavy and predisposed to frizz, tendencies which are intensified by the humid Southern California weather.
Resisting What Is

My God-given hair was not the type of hair I wanted. I wanted the straight, sleek hair of a Scandinavian girl – or Jennifer Aniston. I have been fighting my hair texture for as long as I can remember with countless hair products, daily flat-ironing, and a multitude of chemical processes. None of these armaments ever worked to my satisfaction, so I continually searched for the next best thing.

While I would love for all of my blog posts to highlight my tremendous progress and exciting wins, life doesn’t work like that. Invariably, we all experience ups and downs, and progress occurs more like “two steps forward, one step back” than in an upward slope. Although I posted two weeks ago about the wins I’ve experienced since starting this blog, this past week has been more of a period of discouragement. In this post, I will share my feelings of discouragement, along with some suggestions for how to handle such times in your life.
Career & Health Woes…

One of the “wins” I shared in my “Progress Already” post was that I was attracting more work projects and experiencing increased confidence as a result. Well, that win turned out to be short-lived… The inquiries regarding prospective work have led to dead ends and a couple of projects which I believed were “sure things” have fallen through for reasons unknown to me.