I remember a story about a young bride and her mother making Easter dinner. As mom pulls the ham out to put in the pan, she cuts off the bone and carefully places it in the oven to bake. The young bride is watching every move carefully and decides to ask her mother a question. She folds her arms and casually asks ” Mom, this may sound stupid, but why did you cut the bone off of the ham just now” ? Mom wipes her brow, looks up at the ceiling and says, honey, I don’t know why! That’s just the way I learned form my momma. They both has a laugh and returned to dinner preparation and about an hour passes before the mother leans in and tells her daughter with a smirk, ” you know darlin, you got me curious! Lets call your grandmother and find out why she cuts the bone off the ham, ”
They call the grandmother and the mother asks, ” Momma, why did you always cut the bone off the ham before cooking it?” The grandmother says ” Honey that’s how my momma always did it” and they both were stumped.Finally the young bride says ” Let me call great granny and she can tell us why we cut the bone off”. So she calls the great grandma, gets her on the line, she asks her why they cut the bone off the ham. The response from the great grandmother was this; ” Honey, I have no idea why y’all are cutting the bone off, but the only reason I did it was because my pan was too small to hold the bone. That’s all.”
Wow- so for 50 years they repeated a cycle of behavior without even knowing the origin of the behavior in the first place.
The thing is we sit on the fence for years too, maybe not about ham bones but it could be about moving on from negative past, negative relationships, negative memories and all. As a matter of fact we sometimes spend a lifetime wasted on what could have, should have and might have been. We cling to past events and occasionally start dissecting every little aspect of our life events that we are suddenly looking in the mirror at a victim. The accused, the abused, the busted and disgusted. We now have so much baggage that we have 3 or 4 new DSM diagnoses in the last year alone. Therapy 3 times per week and all that comes with it. Groups for all of our disorders and books to help us understand the disorders and so on.
Let me be clear, I am not saying that some of the services mentioned have no value. There is a time and a place for almost everything. What I am saying is that we are being saturated with the notion that everybody who has had even a traumatic incident in their life needs extensive evaluation and all that follows. The truth is, many times, what we need is for someone to call great-grandmother and get some answers. Whatever you are facing, whatever you are living with why not try confronting it , getting some answers instead just going along with the flow? After all, if nobody makes the call, we all still cut the bone…