Crippled Hamster Mentality

I woke up the other morning feeling vaguely insecure. Out of sorts. Unworthy of all good things in the universe. Like a giant sack of poo. You get the picture.

Something was gnawing at me and it started with a dream I’d had that I was trying to save a crippled hamster in a cow field.

I pay attention to my dreams. Often my subconscious sends me messages because my conscience is too busy making snack foods to notice something is amiss. The dream seemed harmless enough, but the more I thought about it, the more that little crippled hamster really bothered me.

The crux of my issue with this dream came down to a simple question: What did the crippled hamster symbolize?

Was it me? Had my own psyche cast itself as a disabled rodent? Was my ego that small and fragile? And furry? Was my brain the carrier of the Bubonic Plague? Seriously, what was wrong with my head??

Meet my psyche. In times of stress it’s known to chew off its own hind end. (image via Flickr & Marina Avila)

You never imagined hamsters were this upsetting, did you? Let’s just say that hamsters and I have a troubled history.

Then I got on Twitter and discovered I was down one follower. What?? @buycheapgold abandoned our Tweelationship? I thought we had a meaningful connection. Nothing lasts these days.  Twitter just makes me feel cheap and alone. Like everyone is funnier and more popular than I am. And better dressed. And less flatulent. Whatever.

I was still coming to grips with my social media insecurities when I noticed that everything smelled and tasted like metal. Being the mild hypochondriac I am, I immediately went down my list of possible causes: a stroke, a brain tumor, toxic mold, a psychological break caused by being terminally unpopular. None of the options seemed particularly appetizing. Or accurate.

Then I sneezed and sprayed myself with bloody snot and realized that I’d merely entered the stage of sickness where my sinuses bleed. Obnoxious but not deadly. I would live! And yet my realization brought me no joy.

I was tired of feeling so negative. I like having a sunny disposition. I was raised by Midwesterners. We don’t tolerate weak, insecure people very well. You can be a giant nutball in my family but you can’t sit around and feel sorry for yourself. That accomplishes nothing.

In the Midwest whiners turn to dust and are trampled by cows. (image via Flickr & Paul Williams)

To quote Tom Sizemore in the movie, Black Hawk Down, “Everyone’s been shot.”

Subtext: “Everyone is in the same boat, you giant p*ssy, so stop complaining.”

That pretty much epitomizes my family’s feelings about whining.

So I met up with my yoga buddy in an effort to counteract some negative energy. She picked out a routine for the express purpose of ridding me of bloody snot, insecurities and crippled hamsters. It involved a lot of back bends and headstands.

What I would look like if I could do a headstand. And was 20. And in the French Riviera (image via Flickr & Lululemon athletica)

I think the theory was that the brain damage that followed being upside down for so long would lead to bliss. Or the weight of my brain would crush the crippled hamster and make it stop bothering me. Either way, it was a win/win.

Only the headstand also jarred my sinuses and when I righted myself I was greeted with a great gush of bloody snot on my mat. There very well might have been a crippled hamster in there too. It was hard to tell.

I don’t usually like to display the contents of my psyche or my sinuses for an audience without the internet to buffer my vulnerability, but oddly enough I did feel better about things. I literally dumped my baggage on my yoga mat for the world to see and lived to tell the tale.

I think that’s what yoga is all about: breathing through the tough patches and honoring where you are. And looking good in yoga pants.

“I found Nirvana and a tight butt.” (image via Wikipedia)

So this is where I am right now and it’s okay. I will embrace the crippled hamster within. And feed it a grape. Namaste, crippled hamster. Namaste.