Ever heard someone accusingly say, “She thinks her shit don’t stink!”? Turns out there’s actually something to that weird little idiom. Research has shown that our brains are wired to like the smell of our own odors as a means of self-preservation. Quite simply, we wouldn't be able to take care of our own bodies if we were repulsed by them.
So, no, “she” doesn’t think her shit smells. None of us do, it turns out.
The subject is top of mind right now because I’m vacationing in a small condo in Florida this week with a few other women, my bedroom is right next to the bathroom and even though I bought air freshener, no one’s using it. I’m getting gassed out because no one can actually smell what they’re leaving behind.
And if that isn’t proof that inspiration can come from anywhere, I don’t know what is. (Also, welcome to my brain - always looking for the lesson.) But, I digress…
Unaware of our wake.
None of us are fully aware of the wake our shit - physical or mental or otherwise - leaves behind. It just becomes a part of us as a matter of self-preservation. Which is why we need others - people whom we trust and have earned the right to guide us - to reflect a different reality back to us when we are ready.
But more importantly, the fact that we have to be blind to our own trail at times is a wake up call for how we treat others. Instead of getting irritated with the friend who won’t leave a relationship, or a job, or any situation that is obviously toxic, we need to proceed with compassion and kindness. Why don’t they change is less the question than, why purpose does the blind eye (or nose, as the case may be) serve? What story have they had to learn to accept so they aren’t repulsed by their own life? They can’t leave that story behind until a new one is written.
A call to compassion... and curiosity.
We all have had to make up stories to get through this world. Let’s stop shaming each other for them. And while we’re at it, let’s stop shaming ourselves for the stories we have had to accept in our past. All our stories served a purpose for a time.
Less judgement, more curiosity. Less disapproval, more compassion. Less shame, more love.
What stories served you in the past that no longer fit your worldview? How long did it take you to leave them behind and who helped you to do so? I’d love to hear more! Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message in the comments below.
With much love and gratitude (and lots of air freshener),