Get Over It.

Get over it.

No truer words were ever spoken.  Maybe.  And yet, they can be the harshest, most daunting directive.  It’s one thing for a loved one, a therapist, a guru, etc., to assist in working through a difficult situation in life.  But when someone flings the words, “Get over it!” at me while I’m putting part of my life back together, I realize they have no idea what I’m doing or what it means to me.  Or I’m dragging my feet, but lets not focus on that personal peccadillo shall we?  The words “Get Over It” make the idea of moving through difficult times sound like brushing lint off one’s lapels.  It is so rarely that simple, that unemotional, that . . . fast.

Not to say that things have to be as hard as we make them, but downplaying how someone feels about emerging from their cocoon, into that so called butterfly, isn’t always as easy and glamorous as it sounds.  I love the imagery of a butterfly breaking out of the cocoon, and dazzling the world as it flies off.  But between spinning that cocoon, and breaking out of it as a different creature, a deconstruction has to take place.

Roll that word ‘deconstruction’ around in your mouth and head for awhile.  Imagine a house being deconstructed, piece by piece. Everything from decorations and furniture down to flooring, fixtures and framing… all the way down to the foundation.  Remodeling is messy and rarely finishes on schedule.

I know I can’t change the way the world uses words, but if you are going through your own deconstruction and rebuilding phase, don’t let the flippant use of the term “Get Over It”  hurt you, or hold you back.  Maybe this person in your life is impatient for you to feel better, maybe what you’re sorting through pushes one of their own buttons.  Either way, that is for them to sort out.  You’re on your own mission.  Cue up the theme song to the Six Million Dollar Man.  Maybe they want you back as you used to be, but gosh darn it, you’re busy stretching a new set of wings.  Butterflies do that.  They’ll have to get over it.

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6 thoughts on “Get Over It.

  1. Peter Stubbs

    Ah, yes, “Get over it,” a phrase designed to slam the door on any discussion or reflection, the Straw Man argument reduced to its most ugly, most potent form. I can’t think of three more dismissive words. At the very least the words “I don’t care” allow the hearer to let go of the communicator as a source of anything, but “Get over it” implies an end-justifies-the-means relationship with the result, expectation rendered naked and crass.

    (Any guesses as to where I come down on “Get over it” as a phrase?)

    The implied phrase that follows those words is “and stop bugging me with this tripe,” as you pretty much point out. Certainly there are problems of so little import or depth they can simply be gotten over. Certainly there are people who take those problems and let them balloon into larger paralysis, and who need a nudge into action. But as often as those three ugly words are strung together and launched into the ether you’d think that nearly every human ill or woe was neatly soluble by the merest effort. I’ve heard the words used to justify not addressing workplace harassment. I’ve heard the words used to justify not addressing casual racism. I’ve heard the words used to justify not addressing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. In the process of researching my thesis work (design for disability) I heard it levied again and again against the ADA and any suggestion of even minimal compliance. The phrase rankled then and does so now.

    For better or worse, those words embody not merely the suggestion that one can easily get over any number of major or minor issues but that the process is so trivial that it can be remedied by three words that all but forbid follow up, and that the receiver of the message is so stupid and/or lazy that it never occurred to them this was the case. And while getting over it may indeed be what one must do in the end, to outright tell someone that in those words is akin to telling an ill person to get better in as commanding, presumptive a tone. And that doesn’t take into account things that cannot simply be gotten over, chronic conditions, situations that require consistent, lifelong maintenance. “Get over it” sweeps all of that aside, denying any truth but its own.

    I would argue that “Get over it” is not particularly true. It’s mean. It’s the reduction of truth to absurdity. And it is most often the tool of the unsympathetic, used to conveniently deny the hardships of others and, in that act, push those others down rather than raising them up.

    Reply
    1. serenitywriter Post author

      Thank you for your excellent comment Peter. What you said is exact and true in my experience as well. I wanted to highlight how the changes a person might be going through can be a huge undertaking for them, and in that light those three words are shown to be nothing but ridiculous and the speaker of them, at best, unaware. I hope that any person hearing that phrase, can see it as such and keep moving forward.

      Reply
  2. Kim

    I powerful post along with a powerful comment from Peter!! I really glad you spoke up on this because recently a loved one has said that to me. I cringed that a person who says they love me, would dismiss the difficult challenge I was going through and still am. Recently that person also said to me “Shake it off” Unfortunately, I cannot always.

    So thanks for helping me give myself persmission to continue to move forward and break out of my cocoon when I’m darn ready 🙂

    Reply
  3. Debbie

    Nice. This word comes to mind. I’ve used the ill-fated phrase in my life a time or two…almost always was followed by a knock-down-drag-out. I think the usage came from my frustration with myself on many levels, which of course I pushed out instead of looking in. Manifesting a giant waste of energy, emotions, time and most importantly quality of life/happiness. Despite all the numerous faux pas, there is hope! Eventually I got tired of the strife it brought. Now I look to see what tools I have learned to help myself with frustrations. That road is laden with one surprise after another. Like meeting instrumental people at just the right time. The best news I have to share with you is that we have a choice. I made the choice to start to transform and be different.
    I did it by becoming aware, conscious, present. I still practice everyday and I am grateful for my loving friends that encourage me when I am down. The joy that came from sorrow. The nice that came from mean. The contrast is what made it possible for me to cocoon and emerge anew. I cannot take back those words but I have done better, transformed my inner world. All possible by taking my own advice and getting over it.

    Reply

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