Half-Throttle

Once upon a very long time ago now, I was in recovery after a 20-year marriage blew up in my face. Those were hard days…

A good friend put me onto the Marianne Williamson book A Woman’s Worth, where (on page 36), she said something that resonated for me hugely. (Still does!)

She said, “It is better to be alone than to be living at half throttle.”

Well, hooey – that sure hit me like a breath of fresh air!

I’m betting a lot of us might muse on that thought & come up with some pretty interesting insights about our relationships…& our lives.

Hmmm?

Living at half throttle is not something that interests me very much at all.

What’s occurring to me at the moment is that half-throttle living is probably pretty much epidemic here on Planet Earth at this unique time in human history.

An awful lot of us seem to be boxed in pretty good by our relationships, our families, our jobs, our fears, our neuroses, our pain, our… dare I say, culture??

I do believe our species has seen brighter days. Ya think??

(Note: My aim with all of these blog postings is never to “take shots” at individuals, but to aim for the wide-angle insights – hoping that people will “connect the dots” in their “own” lives, with their own behaviour & neuroses & problems – & see how it all fits into the “big picture”… picture.)

Someone told me the other day that the use of antidepressants has reached epidemic levels. All the “bad” stuff seems to be at epidemic levels. Cancer. Depression. Divorce rate. I could go on…

It’s a rather bleak picture, on the whole, I’m afraid.

An awful lot of us are living at “half throttle,” it seems. For any one of a whole variety of reasons.

I can’t offer anyone a cheerily optimistic prognosis for the human race, ‘cos a) things look pretty darn scary, gotta admit & b) I do not possess a crystal ball.

I can lay claim, however, to a cheerful spirit & a pretty all-around great life. Not because I am “rich & famous.” Not because I’m some kind of celebrity. Not because I have gobs of money. None of the above applies.

But I do live several notches up from ½ throttle – pretty close to the “full throttle” setting, I’d say.

I suspect this is because I:

  • Walk daily
  • Sing often
  • Practice gratitude almost slavishly (good quotes here)
  • Have awesome friends
  • Read awesome books
  • “Follow my bliss”
  • Do meaningful work that I believe "makes a difference"
  • Make charitable donations to quite a few organizations, & money to people on the street
  • Laugh a lot (especially at myself!?) & know how to have fun!
  • Act like a kid a lot of the time
  • Am not afraid to “colour outside the lines”
  • Am pretty easy to amuse.

I know that millions of people on our planet are hungry & miserable. That climate change is devastating our planet. That our immune systems are being trashed by ozone layer depletion, exposure to chemicals & pharmaceuticals & radionuclides… & so on & so on & so on. The “Titanic” gives every appearance of being on its relentless way down. Most of us passengers are too messed up, apparently; too self-absorbed, too oblivious for any one of a score of reasons, to face it.

Those of us trying to “save” the ship may be engaged in an ultimately futile battle.

But…what the heck!! At least we’re not living at half throttle… (full-throttle life has its perks!)

Janet

p.s. For anyone who is whistling merrily along, pretending everything is just fine & dandy, I quote for you J. Krishnamurti (1895-1986), who said “It is not a sign of good health to be well adjusted to a sick society.”

p.p.s. I ought to also add a disclaimer here explaining that I know very well my life is vastly filled with grace & privilege. It should also be said that I’ve spent my fair share of time at the bottom of a Very Deep Pit(1) or two. We can climb out of them; I know, ‘cos I’ve been in (& got out of) a couple of ‘em myself!


(1) The “Very Deep Pit” is a phrase borrowed from Winnie-the-Pooh. Winnie-the-Pooh & Piglet…well – read the book! It’s in Chapter V, ‘In Which Piglet Meets a Heffalump.’ It was during the immediately-post-marriage-break-up phase of my life that I began borrowing the Very Deep Pit phrase. I used to joke that I was living in a Very Deep Pit – VDP for short. I still get a big kick out of the phrase…