What Happens When Life "Turns Turtle"
Have you ever turned turtle? Another way to put it would be that everything seems upside down, backwards, twisted and crazy. The phrase comes from the new movie Mary Poppins Returns where Topsy, Mary Poppins cousin played by Meryl Streep, sings a song called “Turning Turtle.” In the movie, Topsy is having a “turning turtle” day and is unable to do her work. Nothing seems to go right for Topsy on these “turning turtle” days.
If you are like me or Topsy you too have days that “turn turtle” so to speak. Sometimes these just happen when life gets overwhelming, when we have too much to do, when we are suddenly paralyzed by what lies before us. Other times “turning turtle” relates to a season when we have lost someone we love, a job has changed, a big move, a natural disaster occurs, or a health crisis.
Really anything in life that is a big change can be a “turning turtle” moment. Many times these days make us feel like we can’t even figure out how to fix dinner, we break things without reason, we get lost in our thoughts, we don’t know the answers to things that we know that we know and the list goes on. Basically, as the song goes, “Fast is slow, low is high, stop is go…Night is day, dog is cat, black is white, thin is fat…”
In Stephen Ministry we talk about these as life changing moments. Sometimes these moments pass quickly because they are related to a stressful moment or challenge, but more often than not these are life changes that define our future forever and the small moment is only one in many “turning turtle” moments. In the midst of these losses or even celebrations it seems like we are all over the place. Nothing in life seems organized or we are overly organized and even tiny changes cause great stress, our emotions are up and down, we can’t make decisions and our ability to handle challenging situations might not be the way you normally work through a challenge.
These defining moments ask us to look at our lives from a different perspective as we work through this season. In the song, Mary Poppins asks Topsy to turn herself upside down and then everything looks normal again. In a sense, living in this new normal also asks us to do the same thing, but it doesn’t just take one day. Instead it is many moments and days of working through what this new normal looks like until suddenly the “turning turtle” days seem to be less and less. But you don’t have to do it alone. Stephen Ministers, pastors and friends are always there to walk with you through these difficult seasons…and when you need a reminder and maybe a smile when you “turn turtle” click here and listen to Mary Poppins and Cousin Topsy figure it out with the Bank’s children.