Pack Up Your Troubles And Smile

screen-shot-2016-10-23-at-3-32-00-pm

 

Pack It Up 

A client came to me in despair. She had recently discovered her husband had cheated on her numerous times over the last ten years of their marriage. She was expecting their second child and trying to finish her final exams in school and she was suffering tremendous stress. “I must focus and compose myself and I am unable to concentrate. What should I do? How can I get through this?”

We devised a strategy where she would pack up her troubles in a mental suitcase and only unpack them one at a time. When she was at school, she would only allow thoughts about tests and assignments. When she was at home she would care for her son and plan the birth of her baby. The client decided she would not think about the fate of her marriage for 6 more months and she began to think more clearly.

Practice The Art Of Compartmentalization

The client was practicing a psychological principle called “compartmentalization.”  Using this concept, you put your worries into compartments or containers and only open one at a time.  Often it is a good temporary solution to an overwhelming problem.

Don’t Carry The Suitcase Until You Are Able

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 11.25.42 PM

Corrie ten Boom, in her book The Hiding Place, describes a childhood memory that taught her a similar concept.
Father would travel to Amsterdam and often I traveled with him. One day I had a particularly troubling question about the birds and the bees.
…. He turned to look at me  but to my surprise he said nothing. At last he stood up, lifted his traveling case and set it on the floor.
         “Will you carry if off the train, Corrie?” he asked.
I stood up and tugged at it. It was crammed with watches and spare parts he had purchased that morning.
         “It’s too heavy,” I said.
         “Yes,” he said. “Some knowledge is too heavy for children. When you are older and stronger you can bear it. But now you must trust me to carry it for you.”

Just as the child Corrie was too young to understand human sexuality and metaphorically carry her father’s suitcase, we often are not able to handle all of our burdens or difficulties at once. We need to pack them away, and only deal with the priorities at hand. We need to carry only what we can bear and learn the art of compartmentalization.

Pack Up Your TroublesScreen Shot 2016-05-19 at 11.17.30 PM

During WWII there was a popular song with a line that said, “Pack Up Your Troubles In Your Old Kit Bag And Smile, Smile, Smile.” This popular tune encouraged many to get through the war by only dealing with the priorities at hand and packing away the rest.

The song is best remembered for its chorus:

Pack up your troubles in your old kit-bag,
And smile, smile, smile,
Smile, boys, that’s the style.
What’s the use of worrying?
It never was worth while, so
Pack up your troubles in your old kit-bag,
And smile, smile, smile.

We often are not able to handle all of our burdens or difficulties at once. We need to pack them away, and only deal with the priorities at hand. We need to carry only what we can bear and learn the art of compartmentalization.

Contact Me/Camille Foster/801.472.7134/ 1FosterConnect@gmail.com

Sources:

http://www.wikihow.com/Compartmentalize

The Hiding Place (p.42) http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=The+hiding+place

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pack_Up_Your_Troubles_in_Your_Old_Kit-Bag

One thought on “Pack Up Your Troubles And Smile

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s